It's inevitable. But change is often a difficult aspect of life to swallow. For years, my house has been swamped with giggling, drama-queens that consumed chocolate by the pound and spent hours talking about boys, trying on clothes and experimenting with makeup. As my daughter faces her eighteenth birthday, college and a life away from home - I realize this era is quickly disappearing.
Moments like this...
....are being replaced with this:
I had a house full of football players last night. They consumed a dozen eggs, two dozen sausages and two dozen biscuits, a case of Mountain Dew, Swiss Rolls, Oatmeal cookies and a pan of brownies. Girls were cheaper. This is my future -- at least for a couple of years. It's different. I have to talk football, cook in restaurant-style quantities and fall asleep to the sound of badly off-key boy-men singing along with Guitar Hero.
What does this have to do with writing? Everything. Characters must change from the beginning of the book to the end. Thinking about aspects in my life, be they small or large, that are changing helps me to focus on the important transitions of my characters.
My daughter is so excited for college, and I find myself heartbroken. What will I do without her? How will I possibly survive? This is how I challenge my characters and it's up to me to add creativity and realism to their responses.
For all of you facing the release of your child into the world, hold on -- we're in for one hell of a ride. And I thought mailing my manuscript to a stranger was hard. Hah! That's funny.
For all of you raising young boys, I have one very strong word of advice: Teach them to clean their own bathrooms.