Life Is Just a Fantasy

That fall, in between waiting for Rick Springfield to appear on shows like Solid Gold and Friday Night Videos, I started writing a novel.  These days, the story would be considered of the genre “fan fiction”.  In those days, I figured it fit solidly into the Young Adult Fiction category.

I’d been reading stories for the last two years that I felt I could write myself.  Stories about teenage girls in various situations put through variations of the boy meets girl or girl meets challenge in life.   I had been writing short stories about this character or that character all summer long, steno books filled with red inked tales of the summer crush romance or the girl who rose to the top.

But my head these days longed to be outside of my place in life.  When I started looking outside of the safety of my own bedroom walls, fear and depression took hold.  I had to keep the inside bedroom door locked when I slept for fear of my brother stealing from me, my combination lock on my door hasp outside my room for when I left the house.   There was already a huge hole in the door when Dawn and I had not locked it fast enough and my brother wanted to come in; we’d tried to push it closed against him until we could lock it, but he was bigger than both of us.  No one else had a life like this.  I didn’t want to have this life either.

So in my head, I built a new situation for myself.  I started off the same; a girl with a troubled home and divorced parents.  But in my novel, Alyson dabbles with anorexia and hits gold.  The weight starts dropping off and she feels in control of her world.  Finally, as her distracted parents realize how serious the situation is, they send her off to live with a family friend in Southern California.  Oh, and by the way, our main character finds solace and comfort in the music of a certain dark haired rock star who used to star on “General Hospital”.

Alyson feels alone, but Mama Sonja takes her in and listens to her, really listens to her.  And then one day, walking around the neighborhood, she discovers a guy working in his yard.  It takes about five seconds for our heroine to realize that her family friend has been living in the same neighborhood as her idol, Rick Springfield.   Sure enough, they become friends, and life becomes better for everyone.

Hey, I didn’t say it was realistic or anything.  At the time I was sure I was writing something that every teenage girl could relate to and would devour when I finally was able to get it published.  Now I realize the writing of it was a form of free therapy that would allow me to stand outside of my situation and believe that somehow, some way, things would get better some day.


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