I recently heard the author David Brooks repeat the common writer’s phrase, “Write the book you want to read.” Because I had never heard that before, I can’t stop thinking about it. I believe that it will influence my future books and blog posts, and it made me reflect on the three books I have written. The following excerpt from my book Riding Waves was inspired by a real date that I went on when I was 14. Although the words are fiction, I love to take real events that happened to me or to others and add a large dose of imagination when I write. Maybe I was already writing the books that I want to read. I hope you enjoy :)
“Hey,” Dan says as he nods to us.
“Hi,” I say quietly back.
“Let’s go on a ride,” he suggests and off we walk. I don’t know what his friends are doing, but I keep seeing Mary and Ashley, who giggle every time they see us. Dan doesn’t try to hold my hand, but he sits very close to me on the rides. I can smell the cigarette smoke on him, but he doesn’t smoke with me there. I have tried cigarettes before and my mom use to smoke, so the smell isn’t that bad, but I am glad that he doesn’t do it in front of me. We are having fun going on rides, and talking a little bit about movies and how our summer is going. He is a lot nicer than I thought he would be. He is actually so sweet when he asks me what I want to do and what rides I like. He listens intently and laughs at all of my jokes. I never really looked at him this way, but I can understand why girls like him. He seems so confident and sure of himself. I know that he has had many girlfriends, and I know that he was the one that broke up with most of them, but I never really heard any details. After some more rides, we head over to the carnival games. It is so cute how serious he is as he tries to win me a stuffed animal. After he tries a few times, Ashley texts that Mary is ready to go and wants to drive us home. I guess we could have asked Dan for a ride, but we had asked Mary first since I wasn’t sure how long Dan and I would stay together at the carnival.
“So Mary is going to give Ashley and I a ride home. So, ah, thanks for everything,” I stutter with a pause, “Well bye.”
“You are welcome. Bye,” Dan replies as I walk away.
I expect a million questions from Mary and Ashley, but they are surprisingly quiet as we walk to her car. Mary asks if I had fun once we are in the car, but after I say yes, she just turns up the radio.
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All through my day, no matter where I go, or what I do, I am always looking for the good in people, in the world, in my life or even just in my day.