Dream Child update

Dream Child update

Just over 26,000 words now, and five chapters finished (this is all still a first draft; it’s all going to have to be heavily edited later).  So far, young Lizzie Alderson, Sara’s almost-four-year-old daughter, has stolen the show.  I think/hope that I’m getting her voice right, as an extremely bright little girl whose parents don’t always quite know what to do with her.  Here’s a sample (to set this up, in the first chapter, Sara and Lizzie randomly meet the wife and young son of Congressman Pete Hanratty.  Later, outside their hotel they run into the Congressman himself and end up having dinner with him):

“I’m a Congressman.  Do you know what that is?”

Lizzie answers immediately.  “We saw it today!  That’s the big white building with the big round top and the statue at the very tippy-top.” 

“That’s where I work,” Pete agrees.  “But do you know what we do there?”

Lizzie shakes her head.  I’m sure she got a running commentary about it from her grandmother, even if it probably all went in one ear and straight out the other.  “Didn’t Grandma Helen tell you about it, when you were out today?”

“She said a lot of stuff,” Lizzie admits, then she concentrates, trying to remember anything that Helen told her.  Compared to ice-skating for the first time, I’m not surprised that nothing else really stuck with Lizzie.  But I’m wrong.  “She said – she said – that’s where they tell everybody in the whole country what to do.”  She fixes Pete with a very serious stare.  “Is that your job?  Do you tell everybody what to do?”

Pete grins.  “It’s a little bit more complicated than that.”

Lizzie has an immediate answer for him.  “Com – com – comlickpated is what Mommy says when I ask her and she doesn’t want to tell me something.”  I look at Pete apologetically.  I guess I’ve kind of raised a monster.  On the other hand, she is sort of right.  It’s my own fault – if I don’t want her asking difficult questions, I shouldn’t bring her with me to the hospital. 

Lizzie’s been a surprise to me.  The story was always going to be about her rather than Sara having the dreams, but I didn’t anticipate her growing into a larger role as she has.  I also didn’t have any idea that the plot to be uncovered was going to revolve around a corrupt Congressman, until after I began by putting Sara and Lizzie on the train to Washington D.C. to open the book.  I’m curious to find out what other surprises this book will have for me.




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