Monday, February 7, 2011
Sure I'm trailer-trash- Do you have a problem with that?
One of the hardest questions that has plagued my writing has simply been, "What do I write about?"
I have often heard the advice, "Write about what you know."
Well, when I started writing and really putting my mind to it, I was only twenty-one.
Basically, all I knew was high school, college, and a few European countries I'd visited during college.
I didn't have very much to say for myself. I made myself write anyway with some good results, but nothing really stellar.
Starting this blog last year gave me an excellent lab to bounce my ideas off of readers.
By far my most popular peices have been about the wacky situations I manage to get myself into. I'm not a stupid person, but sometimes....I do some very silly things.
Anyway, I'm twenty-seven now and the past six years have helped me come up with some new ideas that I think will be very successful.
My husband and I have been building our own home and living in a 30 foot trailer in my in-law's front yard for the past 4 years. We have been saving every dime we can in the meantime.
We crush toilet paper rolls, wash plastic bags, save aluminum foil, shop at thrift stores, tolerate dial-up internet, etc.
In a few months, we will be completely debt free when we pay off my last student loan.
In a year, we will be living in our house, and it will be completed in two years.
My husband and his father are doing all the labor for the housebuilding themselves and we have not taken out any loans or put any building materials on credit.
This means that when the house is done, we won't have a mortgage. I will be 29, and my husband will be 36.
Needless to say, most people in our age group and with our education level won't be mortgage free until at least their 50's. They will still be paying on their mortgages when we are sitting back, enjoying our paid-for house.
Now that the house if finally coming together, I have begun telling some of my teacher friends about our plan.
At least three times in the last few months, people have said to me,
"That's incredible. You should write a book about that."
After the third person mentioned it, I thought, "They're right. I totally should."
So now I know what my new venture will be. It's going to be light-hearted, autobiographical, but at times painful in a funny way. I'll share all my embarassing failures like trying to bake whole wheat sourdough bread in a trailer with a broken oven, trying to collect cat-tail pollen to save money on flour, and even my ill-fated Ebay store that has done nothing but cost us money since I started it.
The only trouble is some of the most painfully funny characters in the story are still alive and I'm not sure just how to deal with that diplomatically. Also, the story hasn't really ended yet. There are still embarassing, painful, hard, and funny things yet to happen.
So we will see what happens. But I think the idea has a lot of potential.
What should I call it? "Sure I'm trailer trash- do you have a problem with that?" "Yes, Virginia, you can be debt-free in America, " "Living in a 30-foot trailer in my in-law's yard: Yes, it's as bad as it sounds."
Hmm...those are not quite perfected yet. What do you think? What would you title my book?