Home is this week’s theme.
On a writing podcast called Write from the Deep, they talked about how every writer has a catalyst for their story, and how many of their stories might have the same catalyst. And I realize that the catalyst for all my writing is this: being forced to leave home. The few novels I’ve written all have to do with a character being torn from her home (as opposed to leaving willingly) and forced into an undesirable situation, with the one goal being to return home again. Why is this an ongoing theme for me? Why can’t my protagonists be heroic and leave home on their own accord to save the world and slay the dragon?
I think it has to do with me being a missionary kid.
Like a military kid or a preacher’s kid, a missionary kid spends a lot of time traveling, moving from place to place and having various “homes”. In the USA, we lived in several different towns (and states), but I had one main home in the Andes Mountains where my family always returned to when we got back on the mission field. Saraguro, Ecuador will always hold a tender piece of my heart, and even though I could never really see myself living there in the future, a piece of me sometimes longs to go back. But maybe it’s more of a longing for childhood. A longing for the life free of worry and responsibility.
So my characters in all my books start out in their homes that they love and never want to leave. But they’re forced into situations where they have to leave without a choice, and the rest of the book, their long term goal is just to get back.
Because maybe a piece of me still thinks that after this roller coaster ride we call life, all the uncertainties and newness of being a mom and paying bills, I look back to the place where I grew up, my home, and think someday. Someday I’ll go back.
I won’t. I know I won’t.
But the child inside me thinks she will.
QOTP: What’s your catalyst? What’s one ongoing theme in your stories that all your characters seem to experience because it’s an experience that’s affected you on a deep level?