does not describe me fully
it is where to start

Monday, September 14, 2009


No, Grampa is not my grandfather. My grandfathers, who lived in Puerto Rico and whom I rarely met, were not Brahmin Episcopalian ministers fallen on hard times. Nor is Grampa a stand-in for my father, also a minister, albeit Pentecostal. Yet Grampa plays an outsized role in my fiction. In my novel, The Old Prophet’s House, he appears in the title though he is only a secondary character and, what’s more, he’s already dead. In the mysterious fashion in which characters, conflicts, and events sometimes appear in a novelist’s head, Grampa emerged in a story I wanted to tell and, lo, there he was, larger than life, and he never left. Recently, I even wrote a short story, taking place 19 years earlier than the novel, in which Grampa is alive, this time as the protagonist driving the story. I submitted that short story to a literary journal and have no idea whether it will be accepted for publication. We all know what the odds are. I can’t rid myself of the feeling, though, that Grampa still wants to be written about. Since my current work-in-progress novel has nothing to do with the fictional world in which Grampa first appeared, it will be interesting to see what happens. I only know that I have a vague sense that my time with Grampa is not finished.

1 comment:

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh! I know what you mean -- I have recurrent characters who beg to have their stories told and I have to put them away -- there are some I so want to revisit...or it is that they keep speaking to me....