Writing What I “Know”

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Back to Work In January

The Admonition to Authors – Write About What You Know

I grew up in Evanston, IL. and have written the following memory into a early draft of a second novel….working title – Stardust

(Katherine, looking out her tenth story condo window onto the outer drive- Chicago)

Watching the snow fall, Katherine could have been looking out on the winter scenes of her youth through the large double hung window in her bedroom, where she used to sit on the radiator cover her father had built. She was certain that Evanston,  just miles North of where she stood, looked the same in this moment as it had then; the snow covering the large lawns and parkways. A plow would come along to push the snow to the curbsides and leave deep tunnels down the sidewalks. She imagined a car, its wheels spinning, as it tired to climb the hill on Lyons Street. There was already snow suspended in air clinging to one side of the black wet trees, the branches mysteriously supporting inches of snow until one too many flakes fell. There in the luminous glow of the streetlights, a narrow stack of snow would topple to the ground in a slow wet descent, leaving holes in the crusted snow below.

Katherine wondered how many pairs of mittens she’d had as a child and how often she lost one of them. There were mufflers and boots, snow ice cream and countless snow angels made while wearing her red snow suit. She remembered her ice skates, the shoe strings tied together and slung over her shoulder, as in early December she walked to the skating rink that the park district created once the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Workers shoveled snow to the edges to create the rink and filled it from a hose, water that froze over quickly. It was still possible to feel her tired ankles and cold feet, just as she could hear on Asbury Avenue the crunching sound of someone’s hurried footfall

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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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