Sometimes a former love will become a character in one of my short stories or books. The outer appearance will change—at times it’s an improvement—but his essence becomes part of a new man. The outer shell may be used later in another character. I guess you can change someone for the better although we’ve been told you shouldn’t even try—but that’s in real time not in fiction.
The first—a neighbor with the stereotyped red hair and freckles usually found in descriptions of mischievous boys—pulled my braids because he liked me. Much to my mother’s dismay, I chopped off the braids. In a short story, the hair remained and a romance began.
In my teens, I danced all evening with a fellow who made me feel like the most beautiful, intelligent and charming woman in the world. But we were two different faiths and he was studying to be a minister. I later heard he became a television producer instead. His faith lost a lot of converts but I gained writing material.
Then there was my season as an apprentice in summer stock. I met an actor who was jobbed in one week to star in a play and we met after the show. He wanted to go into the wood and explore, I just wanted to talk about Shakespeare. We both were disappointed. Both in theatre and writing—use the material.
As we mature, we often travel different paths from people we once held close but memories come back when we write and their traits, manners and features often appear in our stories.
I offer a toast to those that we once loved and haven’t completely lost.Bests,