For years I have wanted to find out if I can write a story, testing the waters now and then, sticking my toe in then pulling it out.  For a while, I wrote little short stories from my blog (not this one) and had a lot of fun with it.  Three times I have put myself through the experiment called NaNoWriMo, culling one marginally usable story from that experience.

Someone encouraged me once to begin by telling my own story, that other stories would come from telling my own experiences.  In a way, that is what blogging has been for me.  Really that is what it has become.  I like to tell stories, seem to have a lot to tell.

So that is what I am going to do.  I am going to start with my own story and see where that takes me.  The characters have already been written.  I know them and their colors are in my mind.

I don’t have much yet, but here is the intro I wrote over the weekend.  Would you read this if I kept going with it? —

My childhood was spent mostly blissfully unaware, blind to the troubles and worries the world have brought to my adult self, hooded in the aura of small town life and a family strength that simply prevented life from swallowing me up.  Maybe that does not make sense to someone who has not experienced what that is like, missed out on the opportunity so to speak.  For me it is impossible to imagine my childhood being lived any other way, barefoot memories mixed pleasantly amongst carefree days on a bicycle, roaming the neighborhood on bubbly black tarred gravel streets, the sting of the thick tar oblivious to the calloused toughness of my perpetually bare feet even on the hottest summer day, a baseball glove hooked on the handlebar of my bicycle and a basketball tucked under my arm.  Pictures from those days show me shirtless, tanned, a boy with a butch haircut.  Usually my brother, Mark, squatted next to me with that I-know-something-you-don’t smirk on his face, stocky and strong, deceptively stoic.  Oddly enough he is still that same boy today, a bit of an adult his entire life.  He was my companion and best friend, not that I knew it then, a year younger than I but his practical strength part of the reason I survived through those naïve days.  Family made us both stronger, not just the family Mark and I were born into, but also neighbors and church who knew us in a way only possible with the familiarity small town life brings.  Looking back, that was what defined my childhood – family, church, neighbors, and St. Louis Cardinal baseball – a carefree freedom that shaped me into the person I am today, however good or bad that may be.  I like it.

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