Today I am in cleaning mode. The goal to completely get the toy room to an acceptable state of cleanliness. It has not been in that state all summer.
As I was going through everything, dragging a garbage bag behind me I happened upon an old wallet insert of pictures from high school. I don't know why my kids have it out and about. I thought, hmm. It's been more than ten years. I don't talk to these people anymore (sad huh?) and I haven't thought about them in a long time. So I'll just throw it away. Of course I had to flip through it.
Some of the people I don't know the names of (really these were boys that dated my not-so-close friends). But since they were pictures of dances. The nights stand out in my memory.
I found a picture of my first boyfriend, and one of my first love (not the same person) and one that reminds me of the time I was the meanest to another person. And another that reminds me of the butterfly feeling of the beginning of a relationship.
I found pictures of friends that I was close to in middle school, but not so much in high school, but who still make me smile when I think about them. I looked at the picture of my best friend in high school, and I'm just so sad that we aren't friends anymore. A lot of miscommunication the summer before I left for college and then the fact that I was really the only one who left and I didn't come back.
After a few minutes, and being tumbled around in the memories and the emotions that came rushing back. I decided to keep it. If anything I can look back at it when I need inspiration for emotions in a story. But ultimately high school had its good times and its bad times. Friends were there the entire time.
Since I write for the Young Adult audience, I think it is important that I'm able to remember the ups and downs and the feelings of being a teenager. The world has changed a lot since I was in high school. It's amazing to think about how much, but I don't think the situations, the relationships and the friendships have. That's what is at the core of a great story. That is what should be at the core of my writing.
How do you use your past to influence your writing?