I love reflecting on childhood. I love stories of childhood and the way they impact us all. I love how, even though childhoods contain both good and bad, we can all look back and reminisce on what once was.
While I love romance and adventure and the beautiful every day of adulthood, I love novels that bring together the child and the adult. I love stories of family redemption and backstories that are dug up and transformed into treasure. Give me siblings and aunts and grandparents rather than just one protagonist and their best friend. Give me complex family relationships, the history of why things are the way they are.
Tell me you love gardening because it reminds you of your Grandmother. Tell me you kept that book because she used to read it to you. Tell me what special items you’ll pass onto your children.
Show me the path you take to your auntie’s house on the weekends. Show me the bike your dad fixed up for you. Show me the blanket you were given when you were born.
There is beauty in these things.
I find my heart drawn to wanting to write about family relationships. While I can’t help but add in a love-interest (can you blame me?), I feel the most rewarded when I write about a family, and feel I’ve done reality justice. There is something satisfying in portraying a childhood, and how significant it is.
And maybe it is because in these scenes, I can write about myself in a clear and honest way and reflect on who I was as a child. I love looking at older photographs. Of me in a pink fairy skirt, of me holding a bunch of toy flowers. (Although, if I’m being honest; there are also quite a few photos of me looking upset as a child. Thank you, Rachel, for capturing my good side.) I love seeing my family looking at the lens, younger faces but the same features.
I think I just like writing what’s real.