I was thinking yesterday, as I was working on my next book, how little scraps of personal memory can seep into a story. As much as I try to make each story and character individual, leakage from my own life seems to always occur. In my current work-in-progress, it’s cooking (hardly a surprise for anyone that knows me) and the heroine’s gorgeous fluffy-coated collie, who is a reincarnation of my beautiful dog Cooch. In Heartland, there were many things, but what struck me most yesterday was the inclusion of the sewing machine my grandparents bought me when I was very young. So young that this is the machine on which Nanny taught me how to make trousers for my teddy bear – pink and purple tartan ones from left over fabric she’d used to make a pair for me (hey, it was the 70s and I LOVED those tartan duds).
I still have that sewing machine. It’s followed me all over Australia and it still works. Even though I have a modern Janome I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of the Singer. It’s too pretty for starters, and as Callie muses in Heartland, it’ll sew anything. But I guess it’s the memories. Papa passed away when I was very young but Nanny’s still kicking along in her nursing home at age 97. Kicking along so well in fact, that just the other week she staged an escape on her walker and frightened the hell out of everyone, including, I suspect, herself.
It’s nice these little things survive outside my mind. I think there’s some sort of peace in that.