Yesterday I didn’t post my Wednesday Whimsical Weirdness entry because I blogged about the Mills and Boon New Voices competition. You can read about my entry in yesterday’s blog and if you want to, go have fun and rank me. If you read my interview with Michael last week, you’ll know that I am a character driven writer. Whenever I try to impose MY ideas about plot onto my characters, they rebel and the story goes into the wrong direction. I’ve learned this the hard way. After the third plot revision in my current mangled mess, I realized I had to pin my characters down and interview them. Their story was a lot different than my story. I believe I have a much richer story now because of those interviews.
But I haven’t forgotten my blog sphere peeps. I’m playing around with vignettes and interviews as they come to me for this one. I’m not trying to impose any order of events on this blog story. I’m writing it to to stretch my writing brain and get my creative juices flowing without any real structure. I’m playing with my writing.
Playing is good. I want to talk to Delainey’s Aunt Nancy before she loses her memory. But Delainey has been pestering me, so I’ll sit under the tree with her and chat.
Hi Delainey–I’m sorry I haven’t spoken with you before.
That’s okay, I’m used to being last.
Well I didn’t want to put you last. You have something to tell me about Michael?
Yes. I miss him a lot. And I’m scared.
Why are you scared? I’m scared he won’t come home. I’m scared I won’t have anyone after Daddy dies.
I know. How do you think you’ll cope after your dad dies? I can see you know how to cook, clean, take care of the house.
Yes, I went to school. I got my diploma. I can write. I can read. But I’m slower. That’s all. I really want a job, but daddy won’t let me get one.
He thinks I’ll get used the wrong way. I don’t think so. I don’t need a fancy job. I just want to work at Dawson’s grocery store and help put things away.
You mean stock the shelves? Why not be a cashier?
I could be a cashier, too.
Delainey you’ve got the prettiest smile when you’re happy.
Do you have any friends?
I used to when I wen to school, but now everyone’s gone away or they’re married with babies. I wish I could have a baby.
I’m sorry Delainey. I wish you could, too.
Mommy and Daddy said it wasn’t a good idea. Cause the baby could be like me. They love me, but they worried about me being able to take care of a baby.
So are you on birth control?
I had an operation that stops the babies.
you look mad.
I am mad. I’m going to be alone because I’m different.
Everyone is different Delainey. Some people can hide it easier, but you’ve got to find a way to connect with people. Why didn’t your dad want you to go to the group home when you turned 18? After you graduated?
He didn’t want me to leave. It wasn’t a good time. Michael thought I should go. When he was still here he talked to his high school counselor about it. he told me about the place. but then he had a fight with daddy and Michael went away to college. They fought about it all the time. I hate it when people fight. I told them I didn’t want to go. I did. But I didn’t want any fighting. I stopped them from fighting. But Michael didn’t come home after he joined the marines. At least not very much.
It’s not too late to look into it. Can’t you ask your aunt nancy to contact the social services? get you into some community programs? There are a lot of programs out there that could help you become even more independent.
I want to, but I don’t want to hurt my daddy’s feelings. not now. i want michael to come home. aunt nancy’s not doing so well. you saw what she did at the stove the other day. she’s starting to forget a lot of things. she thinks she can hide it from me. but i know what is going on.
tell you what delainey, i’ll research programs for you. i’ll find out what is available for adults who are slower. and i’ll find someone who can help you.
yay–that makes me happy.
Gosh Delainey, that is the best hug i’ve had in a long time.
And you put my smile back on my face.
I’m glad to see it.
so what do yo do for fun. do you have any pets?
I have a cat named (can’t think of a name right now) it was michael’s cat. she’s getting pretty old though. i don’t think she’s going to live much longer.
oh delainey i’m sorry. i have an old cat, too. and she’s not in the best of health. i’ve cried more tears over that cat. she’s a member of our family.
so is *name*
what will you do when she goes to heaven?
i’ll cry. i need michael to come home. i’m going to write him a letter. he has to come home.
you know what delainey. i bet when i start doing some research about the programs, i’ll find someone who will help you get in touch with michael.
will she be pretty?
oh yes. she’ll be pretty. and she’ll be perfect for michael.
i can’t wait to meet her.
neither can i delainey.
delainey, this is tender subject. i want find out more about it because i used to have a friend who was slower, a long long time ago. and i don’t want write or do anything that would hurt you or people like you. i want to do you justice.
i’d like that. i appreciate that.
well your vignette came to me first. so you’re the priority. you’re the reason i’m writing this story.
I like Delainey, but the subject is tricky. I will do the research off-blog. I’m positive Michael’s match is going to pop out of this research. And she’ll be one feisty, fierce and powerful woman.
So off-blog, I will research special education, Downs syndrome, group homes, counselors and how programs are run and by whom. I still don’t exactly know where everyone lives (setting is not important to me–so I often layer it in after I have story and character–it is *weak* point for me), or what the laws are. There might be a hospice nurse who is worried, and if Michael’s dad is a veteran, there are those considerations. I do like to utilize things I know like my own darling DFC. I have a feeling Delainey and I will bond over our cats. I like Delainey. She’s a great woman and I want to give her what she deserves, too. I may have to give her a boyfriend. We’ll see if one pops out of the background. I am purely in Discover mode and unlike my other manuscripts, I’m only focused on this for a tiny amount of time on this blog. But it’s fun. And it’s making me smile.
Question: what pitfalls will I have as a writer regarding my subject matter? Does anyone in my blog world have any suggestions based on their own experiences about how to treat this subject with dignity and honor? I really want to give Delainey the story she deserves. Her story is important to me. I hope that in writing it I can impact the special education world in a positive way.