Monday, December 17, 2007

who's sarah?

judy was kind enough to ask, so i thought i'd try to answer her here. the simple answer is that sarah is a character in my newest novel. my agent liked her so much she wanted me to add some chapters in her point of view, among a few other tweaks. but while i breezed through all the others, i've slammed hard into a wall around these new chapters of sarah.

maybe if i write about her here, i'll be able to write her chapters. i'm not sure if the difficulty i've experienced is simply all the distractions since thanksgiving, or if its partially the result of having to go backwards (ala silver's lure) yet again, and that's just too painful to do.

i suspect its some of both.

i also suspect its the character herself, sarah... who flits like a breeze around in my skull, tempting as a tease, promising so much and delivering on nothing.

My name is Sarah Woodwright. It's not the name I really use - not the name my mother called me, but it's the one you know me by in the story. My father left my mother when I was 3, and I didn't meet him again until I was nearly 26. For the first 23 years of my life, I thought he was dead. It wasn't until my mother died that I learned I still had a living parent. I didn't look for him until a book fell off a shelf and hit me on the head in the library where I work. It happened to be written by him, and it happened to be dedicated to my mother. That's when things started to get weirder than they already were.

All my life I've been different. I realized at a very young age I was a trial to my mother, though I didn't understand why until one snowy afternoon when I was five or six. We were driving home through an early winter snowstorm, my mother, white-knuckled over the steering wheel, me uncomfortable in my snow suit. As we slid to an uneasy stop at the corner where the playground was, I asked my mother who all the children were who were playing outside without coats. At first too distracted by the weather, my mother became quite angry when I insisted I saw children, my age running with gleeful abandon all over the equipment.

Then her face got white, her lips turned gray. Her eyes got very big, and she looked at me wiht something like horror. I thought she was going to say something, to berate me, but she snapped her mouth shut. We skidded through the intersection and when I looked back, I could still see the children, racing merrily in the snow.

It wasn't until I was eight or nine someone told me the story of how a bus full of school kids had crashed into a playground full of children one sunny afternoon in 1959.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be!


ravensedge said...

I really want to know Sarah now.

Stacie said...

wow, the hair on my neck is standing up. that is awesome! sarah reminds me of my little sister, who sees ghosts often, and has since she was just a kid. people rarely believe her. my sister too, is hard to catch, to pin down. maybe with such a gift, these people learn to be evasive. i hope sarah will let you in . . .