Recently a family member commented, “Wouldn’t it be nice to time travel?”
I laughed. As a writer, I do it quite often.
When you ruminate on an episode, a place or conversation from the past, it’s amazing what can bubble up. Reliving the past is a form of time travel.
Writing about real-life chapters tends to muddy the water of “truth.” Memories are like shifting sand–they change with each telling of what was said and what was done when. The sequence blurs, the voices fade. Looking back, I ask myself is this what really happened or what I think happened?
Admittedly, the well of ideas takes a bit longer to siphon these days, but the memories are still floating around, waiting to be fished out. For years I’ve been working on a book-length manuscript based on the summer I turned eight. After writing, editing and shaping the story into a coherent narrative, it has become a bit fuzzy as to what is real and what is made up.
Recounting any episode depends on who does the telling and why. It’s something to keep in mind when you swap tales.