It's kind of funny how long that sentence sat in a folder on my computer. And then one day this thought came to me. Looking back on it now, it seems to be one of those writer moments where a spark of inspiration is struck and you go, "Why, of course!" And that's how it came to me to give Peter the nickname Peas. A little backstory. When I was little my older brother called me that name. I was a small kid. And I can remember one day he came home from school and gave me this leather wristband. On it he had carved the name Peas. Or maybe he wrote it on. Or maybe he burned it on. I don't truly remember. I think I still have it in a box in the basement somewhere though. Anyway, I thought how perfect to give Peter that nickname as well. And that's how I got to the second sentence: But you can call me Peas.
For a long time all I had written down was that first sentence: My name is Peter. Looking back in my documents now tells me that I first wrote that sentence in 2008. (Almost ten years ago!) And that I named the document: My name is Peter. I had no idea where I was going with it. In the following years, I started and stopped and started again many other drafts of stories. Some good and some not so good. I finished a couple middle grade manuscripts I took to conferences. And based on the feedback I received eventually had the courage to send those manuscripts to agents and publishers. There were no takers. But I kept at it. But all the time I found myself going back to that sentence: My name is Peter.
How it all started
Now, Peas and Hambone Save Us All didn't start out as Peas and Hambone Save Us All. It actually started out as Peas and Hambone Versus Flesh-Eating Zombie Gorillas. A mouthful, I know. But when I brainstormed titles with my students that was the one they chose as the best. Wait a second. Maybe I should back up a little bit. Okay. Maybe I should back up a lot. It all started with this one sentence: My Name is Peter.
This is not a blog
Okay. First things first. As you can see by the title of this post this is not a blog. (But the more I think about it don't you only use the word "post" when describing a blog entry?) I don't know what a blog is, what it should look like, and more importantly how to write one. I feel like the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer from that old SNL bit. But maybe I should tweak it just a little and make it Unfrozen Caveman Writer. "I don't know what a blog is! That word frightens and confuses me! I'm just a writer!"
I know what you're probably thinking. If this is not a blog why did I set up the page like a blog? Good question. But I don't have a good answer. All I can say is I want to write a journal. I've had a journal most of my life. And now instead of writing down my thoughts in one every night before I go to bed I'm going to write them down here.
Now, don't worry. You don't need to click off the page because the thought of reading all about the minutiae of my life fills you with dread. But please don't stay on this page if you're hoping to read something salacious that has happened to me. Remember, I'm a writer. All I do is write. And read. My life is pretty boring and uneventful.
But what's not boring and uneventful to me is the writing process. And I want to share with you the process that led me to write and ultimately publish my first book: Peas and Hambone Save Us All.