Clematis Writing From Camp – Day 8

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 Campnanowri -My July Writing Camp

Word Goal – 50,000

To Date: 15,960

Glad I am off at camp, happy to be writing again!  I didn’t start this challenge with a blank page, but with the draft of a second novel, working title, Stardust. If the title sticks, it will be a nod to my parents, who I plan to dedicate the book to. Regardless, with the manuscript in draft form, it is a good enough title to be going on with for now. There is a scene at the beginning of the second chapter where the title is mentioned.

Right after lunch, Katherine said goodbye to her family at the airport.  She needed to be alone, while dreading their departure. Now in the dusk of the evening, only Willie Nelson would do. His plaintive voice drifted out the door and across the patio where Katherine stood in the dark swaying with the music. Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely night, dreaming of a song, the melody haunts my reverie, and I am once again with you.

Stardust and Melancholy Baby were her father’s favorite songs. As a young child, Katherine sat on the back seat of her parents car where she learned the words to not only these songs, but others like Sunny Side of the Street and Georgia on my Mind. Years later when Nelson recorded the CD Stardust, which included most of those back seat songs, the recording felt like a gift from her parents. Tonight, as she swayed, she wondered if in the mystery of things, they might look up from where they had slipped off (‘down the lane and far away’) and recognize her voice singing along with Willie. Perhaps they would begin to sway their shoulders too. 

Katherine couldn’t imagine her life without this backseat music that had followed her through the years. It always interjected a flood of nostalgia that reminded her of who she was at the heart of things. These  same songs always linked her  to the boys she’d danced with, occasionally one of them singing the words softly in her ear. Tonight, if not for this music, she was in danger of fading away, like the final scenes in a black and white movie where the heroine walks off into the fog and disappears… when our love was new and each kiss an inspiration, but that was long ago, and now my consolation is in the stardust of a song. 

I’ll be writing from camp again soon…..

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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