Recently completed the first draft of a short story set in Manila, told from the point of view of a nine-year-old girl. On the side, I’m revising a not-so-new story about a seventeen-year-old boy who has just moved to Canada. Only just noticed that my current projects all deal with younger characters. Maybe it has something to do with me turning 31 (it has a definitive adult sound to it—think of a car, starter home, a baby, none of which I have— though I’m aware some folks would consider it a tender age.) I’m not the type to miss childhood. I like being an adult. Making decisions. Being in love. Deciding how time and money, though always running short, are spent. And making money.
Working on these pieces has made me realize that even a seemingly benign, uneventful childhood can be a rich minefield for story ideas. I was probably in my late teens when I first started writing fiction with a view to publication. Back then I was having trouble coming up with ideas. More than a decade later, I flip through pages of my ugly diary scribbles, attempting to recall how my younger self looked at the world. Age and maturity lift a curtain, revealing intentions and pretensions, the wider world beyond the homes we were raised in. But innocence lends a stark, unadulterated (un-adult, ha!) view of things. Right now, the challenge is to capture that perspective that is raw and honest, yet circumscribed by inexperience. Harder than I thought.