Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…
On Tuesday when I walked out of my house, a rabbit went hopping across the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps. I instantly knew that it was not the Easter Bunny checking on his route, because this rabbit was brown and way too small to carry an abundance of Easter treats. Besides, since I was old enough to know what the Easter Bunny looked like, he has been pink. More importantly, the REAL Easter Bunny knows where I live and already has my Mary Sue vanilla butter cream Easter egg ready for delivery; OK, one is ‘hidden’ on the top shelf of the cupboard…to help the very busy Easter Bunny, why else :-)
As some of you know, Easter in Baltimore is Mary Sue Easter eggs. The Mary Sue candy company was founded in 1948 by Samuel “Sacha” Spector and Harry Gerwig. Even though I was just one year old, I am sure the Easter Bunny jumped for joy. In elementary school we sold Mary Sue Easter eggs as a fund raiser. And in the late 1950′s Baltimore football great Johnny Unitas, then a young football player, was hired to sing the Mary Sue Easter egg song on their radio advertisements. The song would become infamous; at the mention of the song it starts playing in your head.
OK, Steve, we know you are a fanatic about the Mary Sue vanilla butter cream eggs, what has this to do with novel writing. As mentioned in the past, I am writing a fictional crime novel set in 1984 Baltimore. As I thought about the connection between Johnny Unitas and Mary Sue Easter eggs, I realized that my novel’s action references the Baltimore Colts being moved to Indianapolis without any sort of public announcement; the 12 yellow moving vans packed up the team’s offices in Owings Mills on the night of March 28-29th. I then thought, when was Easter; a holiday that would definitely impact on daily life in Baltimore. I looked up the date for Easter in 1984, and it was on 22 April. As a writer, I have to be aware of significant events and holidays that could affect the movement and frame of mind of my characters.
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.