I was looking through my older versions of my book and realized it was last July when I began to think about writing. My thoughts were to set down my life as a memoir of sorts, but use my MC as me, tweak things a bit. It was just going to be for my family and friends. I wrote probably ten pages. Then put it on hold, since the holidays were here and there were other distractions.
It was January when I opened my preliminary book again. Along the way something had changed. I got it into my head that I wanted to write a story about the willow tree that stood in my grandmother’s backyard. I had visited the plot of land where her house used to be; now it’s overgrown and the house itself fell into such disrepair it had to be torn down. The only thing left was the old storm cellar and it was almost hidden by the weeds and tall grass.
The willow tree was gone.
I think that was the saddest part of seeing where the old homestead stood. As a child, I always thought there was something magical about that tree. Weeping willows are so graceful. The way their leaves drape down like curtains and sway gently in the breeze, enticing you to come in and enjoy the shade, get out of the scorching Texas sun. I remember sitting in Grandmother’s old glider which was positioned under the tree. I’d read books that I’d checked out of the library; mostly Nancy Drew.
Maybe that’s why I changed the course of my book to become a mystery.
The second influence was the death of my dear brother, Jerry. It was sudden and unexpected. He was there in the hospital bed and two weeks later he was gone. Jerry was always so proud of our Irish heritage. He flew two flags in the front yard of their house, the American flag and the Irish tri-color. I was thinking of him when I got the idea about the Bullaun stone. And I hope my sister-in-law doesn’t mind that I used her last name, Barrett, as the grandmother’s name in my story. Barrett (I believe this is correct) means ‘brave’ or ‘strong’ and that is what my SIL, Sherrie, is.
So there you go. That’s the cornerstone of my book. Maybe that’s what writing is about. You get a couple of ideas; you start putting them down on paper (or computer).
And the story begins.