A second novel popped into my head today. We were driving back from the beach, a hair north of Goliad and a million miles away from our vacation. My husband was tired, sipping on Whataburger coffee and rubbing his eyes. I was thinking of the week ahead. Of laundry and swim lessons. Of sunscreen and fruit salad. My husband was no doubt thinking of work. Meetings and time entry and upcoming cases and such. But there it was, a grand oak tree standing alone in the middle of a field of hay grazer. A beautiful plot, springing up from nothing.
Sometimes stories are buried, like hidden treasure. They surface when the wind changes and they start to bore a hole inside of you until they get out. A story was buried there, outside of Goliad, Texas, where the Texas Revolution first began. Maybe ghosts of fallen soldiers whispered it to me, their words trapped inside twisted mesquite trees, floating around grain silos and rusted barns. Theirs is a story of a deeply tangled family and what really matters. It all starts with a dying man, and goes from there.
I will write that story. Amidst the diapers and the “stop throwing a fit right now or there will be no television” lectures and the defensive driving classes and the leftover macaroni-and-cheese. Somehow I’ll find a way to run upstairs like a quiet attic mouse and start tapping it out. Character by character, chapter by chapter. Novels aren’t born in a day. They unfold slowly. After all, the author has to fill in the color to characters they have only sketched in their mind in charcoal.
I told my husband about it.
“Sounds great,” he muttered. Sort-of like if I asked him whether my shoes matched my dress or whether he wanted to eat tacos food for dinner.
But this story is beautiful. I wish others could see it, intricately stamped and burned into my soul like a tooled leather belt. They will. Years and years from now, they will.