Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eleven Weeks

Eleven weeks seems like a strange amount of time to mark, unless that's how long you lived in a dome-shaped tent in the summer of '93. For eleven weeks, my sisters and I roamed Battle Run Campground, swimming, and storytelling, and roasting whatever would fit on the end of a stick.

Little bits and pieces of those eleven weeks are always with me. Of course there is the obvious, the crackle of fire and the green splash of lake water, but there's other stuff, too. Like when I unzip my duffel at the Writer's Conference, the noise is exactly like my bedroom door at the campground. Like any time I see initials carved into wood, I think of the names kids carved into the campground's climbing tower, which they tore down years ago. When I wrote my name there, in blue ink from the pen I always carried, I thought it would stay there forever.

In a way, it has.

Eleven weeks from today, BODY OF WATER will be released, and a kid named Ember will tell you about her summer in the campground, so different from mine – but I hope, just as permanent. Once we get there, if you would, take just a second and turn around and look back to this spot right here, and think about how much time that actually is to live in a campground. By the time we left, the tents were worn through and the fires burned low to embers. We were taller and tanner, older and wiser, and we knew how to make a place home.

It's a skill I've used plenty more times over the years. But that's a story for another novel.

1 comment:


I know I'm in for a treat when your book comes out.
I hate when they end.
This one sounds just as interesting as the first.
Our grandchildren, the triplets, 9, went to camp this year. A four week camp away from mom and dad.
Mackenzie lasted two weeks. She wanted to come home every day and wrote tons of letters. It was four hrs away and they won scholarships to go to the two camps. Red Pine for Girls and Deer Horn for boys.
The boys came home, seeming older and wiser, and much much dirtier than when they went!
Next year they can go back on scholarship but have to earn 100. of their own to put in on it. They are already working.
I can't wait to read this story. Keep at it, Miss Sarah. You are such a good writer/story teller.
Blessings, Barb