by Andilyn Jenkins
“So I’ve got an idea for a story,” my dad tells me as I roll my suitcase off the escalator and give him a hello hug.
“Oh you do, huh?”
“Yeah! Tell me what you think,” and off he goes, detailing to me a beautiful novel involving love, spirituality, heartache, and adventure.
“Wow, Dad. I’m going to write that story,” I reply as my mind wraps itself around writer-ly things like what genre the story falls under and where I would need to go to do the proper research.
“Oh it’ll be fantastic! Okay, so do you want another one? I’ve got more stories,” my dad says. And he does—dozens of beautiful novels that he works on in the shower or walking the dogs but never writes down. And I’m his outlet for them. His writer daughter, who’s never written a novel or even thought of a compelling idea for one, receives prompt after prompt because the ideas come and he doesn’t know what else to do with them.
So here I am in San Francisco, sitting in my dad’s apartment at the top of Montgomery hill looking over the Bay and wondering what I’m going to write my blog about for today. But struggling. And I wonder if other writers have the same problem. Every ANWA meeting and conference I go to seems to be full of writers bursting with stories they can’t write down fast enough and deciding which characters’ tales are the loudest or the most marketable.
But is there anyone else like me? I really want to tell a story. I want to have characters and plots, rising and falling action, sleepless nights, rejection by publishers. But I’m going on ten years of writer’s block. And aside from short stories from my personal life, I just can’t get a grip on where to go from here.
Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
Until then, I guess I'll write down some of my dad’s stories. Preferably while sitting on the deck; breathing the cool, salty air; eating a cannoli from Little Italy; and allowing the winks of sunshine to breathe thoughts over my face.