Updated: Aug 7, 2018
So, after school that day, I called my mom back and she gave me the generic story line that was floating around in her head all day. It was to be about two siblings who visit their grandparents, find some old clothes, and travel through time.
My mom went on to tell me that her thought behind this whole adventure was that a) it was something we can both share and remember, and 2) two writing heads are better than one. She would give her input and writing advice, and I – using my teaching knowledge and skills - would craft the story, mold the plot, shape the characters, create the conflict all the while building a theme, yadda, yadda, yadda.
“So, what do you think?” she asked.
Well, there was no substance (the meat and potatoes); no conflict (good vs. bad; character vs. self, other characters, society; environment). It was just an idea based on a song that sparked her imagination. She held out her idea, waiting for me to grab onto to it and hold under a pile of dried branches.
It lit a small flame; and you know what?
It ignited the beginning of my writing journey, and I’m so glad she called me that day!
The Foundation of Shutterview
The Will of Time was actually titled, Shutterview, drafted in less than a year; 119 pages, 33 chapters, a cheesy, hodgepodge of 37, 000 words and scenes typed in Microsoft Word. When I typed the very last character (a period) I was thrilled.
I did it!
I wrote a book!
This is going to be the next Harry Potter!
(Slow down, Jess; let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
2009. Almost a decade ago. Looking back at the early drafts of Shutterview, I (we) chuckle with enthusiasm. Let’s chuckle together, shall we?
*Excerpt from Shutterview: Draft Date February 2010 – Chapter 2 (Characters: Will and Madi Marshall; Scene: Mother’s Car) *Enjoy laughing with me.
The last hour of the ride bestowed Will with a painful, constant nagging of his mother. Her questions about the Independence Day Festival became redundant. Will assumed she was only trying to make small talk since it will be three weeks until she sees her kids again.
“Yea, mom, it should be fun,” he replied.
And then there was Madi. She constantly wanted to play car games, like “alphabet map”, and “I spy”.
Really? Who can play “I spy” in a moving car?
“Do you know yet Will? Do you see it?”
“No Madi, I can’t,” Will answered from under his baseball cap.
“Awe come on. It’s really easy. It’s white!”
“No, but you’re . . .
Hold on . . .
I’m sorry . . .
I’m trying to pull myself off the floor from my own muse, or (cheeks flushed) it could be embarrassment.
. . . Okay . . . I’m better now.
When I tell people the story on how the book began (a phone call, a song, an idea), I honestly say to them, “What the heck was I thinking?”
But no matter how corny, cheesy, sing-songy the story was, I couldn’t turn away. Somewhere within those 37,000 words a light flickered with life; a story.
The story of Will and Madi.
*And now, from the writing desk of J.B. Pierce and phone of Creative Collaborator Deb Baran, I give you,
"The Banter - pt. 1"
-->Me: Okay, Mom. How did that sound?
<Silence on the other end of the phone.>
-->Me: Hello? Mom, did you hear what I just read?
<A ruffle of papers; the taping sound of fingers typing on a keyboard; a barking Phoebe; the occasional dropping of the phone.>
-->Mom: Oh - I - I'm sorry; I’m listening now. Go ahead; read it back to me.