The Summer the Story Came to Me

Adam Strong

With my youngest daughter on my lap, I will attempt to write this entry entirely from my iPhone. This summer has been for me, a call to arms as far as my interests and passions go. A test to how these passions would stack up in the face of now having two children. For me Writing and Photography is my way of shaking off what I see as a crippling fear of a wasted life. A fear that I will do what they tell me to. The three things that have eluded me from the get go,  to shut up,be happy And not make art. The shut up, be happy part came from Jello Biafra through an Ice-T tape I used to listen to back in high school where I convinced that I would never do anything with this nagging voice of narrative that I had and still have only now I sounds like me instead of the authoritative narrator on Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Fractured Fairy Tales.

So this summer I woke up every morning, hours before my oldest daughter woke up and I wrote. My novel had recently taken a turn for the better, a point where I was merely a vessel for the book. Each day I did this until an amazing thing happened:  The novel leaned in and told me it’s story.

Each day, Monday through Sunday, I did this and each day the book took me to places I wouldn’t have gone to on my own. Writing between five and seven pages a day, the book took sharp turns, offered a few surprises but never flew off a cliff. I was in the space I’d heard about but never experienced, the book had it’s hooks into me, and I had to keep going, just to get to the end.

And when I did get t the end, of the first draft anyway, when that last reveal on one of the last pages it was time to say goodbye. And I felt it coming into this world as a complete but imperfect thing. I was humbled. I was scared. I was on the verge of tears.

When you spend years fighting to write just find the flow of what I found this summer, when you get there you want to resist, you want to tell yourself that because you are writing this as fast as you are, that the quality suffers. But when you look back it works, maybe a little clunky here and there but you did it, found time to finish a first draft the first summer you had two kids, and you gave it the ear and the heart. You listened to the story the way you listen to your two year old. It doesn’t make sense at first but over time it does, and  like all loved ones do over  the months and years, it becomes a part of you.

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