Thursday, January 14, 2010
Inspiration From the Grave
By Nichole Giles
This post was originally written in 2006, the day I started working on what is now "The Sharp Edge of a Knife." This book is complete, and is being typeset this week. Watch for a release announcement around the beginning of February.
Have you ever had a story idea that popped into your brain, and even though you didn’t have time to write the story, the idea stayed and stayed and stayed? Recently a story has been swimming around in my brain, its little head bobbing to the surface daily screaming, “Write me! Write me!”
I haven’t taken the time. I’ve been in the middle of several other projects and haven’t wanted to start a new one until I finished some of the others. So I’ve let it sit, and simmer, and stay, until I just can’t leave it alone anymore.
I haven’t finished my other projects, but I get the distinct feeling that my grandfather’s spirit is urging me, insisting that I write his story. Not his life story, although he led a truly interesting life. It will be the story of just one of the amazing things that happened to him, that he survived, and (can you believe it?) was able to tell his grandchildren. I’m thinking I’ll write it as nonfiction, although the additional freedom fiction would allow is tempting. The bottom line is, my grandfather wants me to write this story, and so I am going to start working on it today.
The minute I made the decision to go ahead with this project, I could feel my grandfather’s approval. It was as if his spirit was saying, “You write this story and I’ll make sure someone wants to read it.”
I got that eerie, “If you build it, they will come,” feeling. Should that have freaked me out a little? Maybe. I’ve given a lot of thought to death lately. Last week marked the anniversary of the death of my mother-in-law, who was very dear to me. My grandfather also died in April not many years ago. Now a fellow writer, one I didn’t know well personally except through his amazing work, will share this anniversary of death with those I love.
April is looked upon as a month of life. Spring, the season of blooming flowers and baby animals, and birth. But for me it is also becoming a poignant month of reflection. I have been reflecting on what my grandchildren will know about me. The things I choose to write can give them a glimpse into my life, my heart, and my soul. No wonder we’re taught to keep journals.
In the month of the anniversary of his death, my grandfather asked me to write his story. I think it’s about time someone did.