Friday, October 11, 2019

Skating: A Declaration by Jody Feldman

Yes, I had the old-fashioned kind.
Roller Skating Month.
So much I could write with that as inspiration. My biggest memory comes from my childhood where
it was necessary to own a pair of roller skates if you wanted to keep up with the neighborhood kids. One minute we’d be playing Red Rover or Spud or Uncle Sam, and the next, someone would race off to get her skates, causing a chain reaction.

Grand Basin, Forest Park, not skate-safe.
Or there was the winter so cold that officials deemed the lakes in Forest Park safe for skating, which is when my parents scrambled
to find ice skates I could borrow for the day.

It’s this neighborhood that’s the inspiration behind my work-in-progress. As I write the story that pays homage to the friendships and foibles and fun and fables there, I also need to be mindful of something that can be my writing downfall...

...skating by.

Don’t misunderstand. In the moment, I’m focused, doing the necessary work. I don’t intend to take the easy road or shortchange the story. It’s more that I picture the scenes and the emotions so vividly, I don’t always communicate the urgency of the situation or the deep-seated stakes of my characters. Then I’m faced with the same notes from my patient agent. And I feel, for a bit, as if I’ve skated by – or tried to – again.

Therefore, I hereby declare this October 2019, Anti-Skating Month. And furthermore, I declare forevermore and to the best of my abilities, an Anti-Skating policy. My readers deserve the most from me. I deserve the most from me. We all deserve the best from ourselves.

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