I heard about National Novel Writing Month a few years ago but had absolutely no motivation or time to do anything like that. Technically, I still don’t have the time but for some reason this year I am intrigued by the idea of writing something totally made up, perhaps because I spend so much time at work writing about actual events.
So I may not make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month (especially since I’m already six days behind), but I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens. I’ll post the story’s progress here so you can follow along. I hope to add to it daily, but we’ll see. (I also have a term paper due the end of the month so that make take precedent at some point.)
So, here goes:
I can remember that day like it was yesterday. My mind rewinds like a movie and I can see myself sitting on the front porch of the one-story rancher playing with Barbie dolls and the big yellow Barbie camper I got at Christmas. The red moving truck was in the driveway. I was eight years old. Too young to help, and definitely in the way anywhere else than on the front porch.
Even though my family was only moving just outside of town, everything was going to be so different. Dad was taking a new job, at a new church, and I would change schools. All new school and all new church and all new neighborhood? Every friend I’d had was somewhere else other than here.
And, an all new house. I only remembered that one house. Even though we had lived one other place when I was a baby, I didn’t remember that place. I only new the one “home.” And now this place was going to be home. I was too young to understand my feelings but looking back, I know I was scared and nervous about so much change.
Now, all of the things I had feared then but had grown used to were being taken away again. Eight years had passed since that day on the porch. This place had since become “home.” This is where I grew up. This is where I had my first boy/girl party at age 9. My friends and I had slumber parties, practiced cheerleading and hung out at this house. My first kiss was on this very front porch. And now it was all being taken away.
It wasn’t my parents fault. Yes, they were the one who had arranged the move, but dad had a feeling he would be leaving the church soon and it wouldn’t be good to be living in the pastorium if and when that day came. It just felt so strange to become so attached to a place. I’d still be going there for church, at least for a while longer. My school wasn’t going to change. But at age 15, any change wasn’t something I wanted. Why couldn’t things just always stay the same?
What I didn’t know then was that even bigger changes were coming. It wasn’t long before dad was proven right and we were forced to leave the church. He had done nothing wrong but a certain group wanted him out anyway so in a flash that was gone too. My youth group, the guy I was crushing, my church friends, my status as PK … all gone. That church was so comfortable I couldn’t imagine every feeling that way anywhere else, feeling at “home” the way I had felt there.
It would be many years before a church would feel like home again.