Evelyne died when she was five. There in the August cornfield with open blue skies above, her life ended. She was on her back, trying to catch her breath. Each short gasp bringing in the pungent smells of fear, dirt and him. Evelyne struggled as he easily pinned her tiny body between the corn stocks with his teenage frame. She wanted her mother. She wanted him to get off. Her cries were silent and not heard. Not by anyone. Not even the crows casting shadows over them as they scavenged for food.
“Don’t tell your mother, or she’ll spank you hard,” he said zipping up his Levi’s. Evelyne could still hear the sound of the stalks swishing and crackling as he walked away pushing them aside. She lay there in her rumpled play dress, sobbing in fear until his steps faded away and only silence was heard. It ends there. That’s all she ever would remember of that summer’s day while playing hide-and-seek with her cousins on Grandpa’s farm, and life as any little girl should be allowed to have, well, for Evelyne, it disappeared when she was five. I am Evelyne.
I know it’s much more difficult to write about ones life than it is to pen a novel. The latter is fantasy, make believe. Journeys you take in your mind that release you from your own reality.
Facing the truth in front of your typewriter is another story. Sometimes is extremely painful to write about ones own life’s reality. Those events are never erased, but lived over and over again. Pages ripped from your past that come back to haunt you and resurface things that you had hope were buried so deep that they would never resurface.
It’s hard to be a writer. It’s hard to write about the truth.
Except for my children’s books, all of my previous published works have been non-fiction. Giving myself a challenge this year, my daughter suggested that I should try my hand at fiction.
“Write a novel,” she said. “Do something different.”
That thought kind of frightens me, because it is really out of the box in which I have been living, out of my comfort zone. There are so many great novelists out there, I am somewhat intimidated to jump into their pool.
Recently, for my SAG (Screen Actors Guild) voting duties, I watched Frances McDormand in the series, Olive Kitteridge.” I enjoyed the series so much, I ordered the book the series was based upon.
Elizabeth Strout, the author, has such a way with words. From the very first paragraph I was drawn in and couldn’t put it down. It is this kind of writing that really makes it challenging for me to think I could be as talented to paint pictures with words as she does in Olive Kitteridge.