I have completed eight novels in my lifetime. When you consider I have been writing for 23 years, that doesn’t seem so impressive. When you consider the percentage of the general population who ever complete even one novel, it’s not so bad. Of course, we have to take “novel” with a grain of salt. I’m not sure the first three would actually qualify in terms of length. We aren’t even going to talk about quality, considering those first three were written before the age of 12 and my grasp of word-craft was, um, juvenile (that’s the kind way to put it).

Of those eight novels, the one I remember the least about is Runaways. And when I say I don’t remember much, I really don’t remember much. Runaways came either between A Faithful Friend and Racing for Victory, or between Racing for Victory and My Friend, My Dog, My Eyes (see, I told you I don’t remember much; can’t even recall when this book came into play). It was during the time I was trying desperately to find a partner in writing. I had done enough writing to know I loved it and I wanted to share that love. So I was avidly trying to convert my friends and family into writers. I wanted someone, ANYONE, to write with me so I would have someone to talk to about what I was going through. I can remember at various times my sister and each of my two best friends starting books, and I know it was only in deference to me (a.k.a., to make me shut up about it). None of them made it very far, but I think it was enough to teach me what I needed to know: writing must come from passion and passion cannot be dredged up, even to try to make someone else happy. And so, I gave up my endeavor and learned to enjoy my unique love. I could get lost in my words and my worlds and there were enough guides and friends there to occupy me. And my friends and loved ones learned it was enough to support me and let me ramble on; they didn’t need to join in the actual writing process, and I didn’t need them to. They share my love in a different way: by letting me share it with them.

But I digress. I have to digress because the point of this post is to introduce you to my book, Runaways, and if all I did was tell you what I recall about it, it would be a terribly short post. So, back to the point. Runways chronicled six orphans (none of whose names I can remember) and their escape from the terrible orphanage in which they resided. That’s the extent of the plot, and the character development. I am almost 100% certain there was a dog. I say that, in part, because I think I remember a dog, and, in part, because I always included animals in my books (I have yet to write a book that does not include animals; write what you know and love J). And that’s it. That’s what I remember. They got away. I think they were teenagers, but I’m not sure. I do know I ended the book with them as adults, because two of them got married. They had twin children they named Luke and Leia (three guesses what my favorite movies are, and the first two don’t count). And that, my friends, is all. I don’t remember anything else about it, and I am pretty sure it is in the category of “I have no copies of this anywhere” that my first book is in. Come to think of it, that means it probably was my second book, because I have at least some of Racing for Victory (to be introduced at a later time) on notebook paper in a binder.

As a final parting thought, I have spent these 20-some years content to leave my family and friends alone when it comes to converting them into writers. I have found other writers to talk to, and I have some of you right here, reading my blog. You understand. I don’t have to recruit my family. But there is one. One I have set my sights on. My nephew, 10 years old at this moment, is one of the greatest story-tellers I have ever met. He has a creative mind that won’t quit, and the words to go with it. I watched him one day as he walked in circles around a bean bag chair and I could see the story spinning in his mind. I asked him what it was and he told me. I want to recruit him. I’ve told him that. Unfortunately, at this point in time, he hates writing. Loves stories, but hates the mechanical act of writing. I haven’t given up on him. The passion for stories is there; but for now he doesn’t have the need to chronicle them. He is content to leave them in his own mind, or verbally spew them over anyone in the vicinity. We’ll see what happens. By the time I was his age, I was on my third book. But, let’s be honest, how many writers are penning novels at the age of 10? And if they do, they might well forget them by the age of 31, much as I have done with Runaways.

It’s my book and I will treasure it for the time and effort I put into it. I just wish I could remember it better!

~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on May 6, 2015.

3 Responses to “Runaways”

  1. I definitely understand your childhood. A few of my friends hopped on the writing bandwagon when I first started writing stories about them and me (older versions of ourselves, of course, involved in amazing, sci-fi action adventure stories : ) ), none of them stuck with it. Here’s hoping for your nephew will join you soon. Sometimes it just takes a little more maturity for children to have to patience to capture their words on paper. Or the right mentor. 🙂

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