I wish my motivations were as pure as inspiration from Ray Bradbury. My literary foundation is a hormonal memory, programmed by my very first girlfriend.
Victoria was just cute: young and cute, perky and cute and then one day she went from cute to pretty. A big sci-fi and fantasy fan, I cannot begin to tell you how many books she introduced me to, and she even introduced me to Powell’s Books. There is a special place in my heart for someone who drove me to Powell’s for the first time; they actually had The Platypus of Doom on a shelf. We are talking major relationship mojoo. Wherever she is now, I am sure Life has blessed her with a kind husband and low-maintenance children.
Victoria was not just pretty, she was soft, girl soft, and she always smelled good. Just thinking about that fresh High School Girl Next Door scent makes me a day younger. She was easy to please, easy to smile and a mischievous pixie.
One afternoon while her parents and sister were out, we were kissing in her living room. Victoria was a fabulous kisser, and often when kissing her my mind emptied of thought. Little did I know Victoria, as smart pretty girls are wont to do, used this to her advantage.
(kiss kiss) “Anthony?” (kiss)
(kiss) “Hmmm?” (kiss)
(kiss) “You should write me a book.” (kiss)
(kiss) “Huh?” (yes, I was the master of conversation in 1985, let me tell you)
(kiss) “Write.” (kiss) “Me.” (kiss) “A.” (kiss) “Book.” (kiss)
(kiss) “Ok.” (kiss)
Then she stood up, pulled her gray sweater-dress over her head and threw it on the floor. There she was, standing in the middle of her living room, wearing nothing but little white socks on her dainty cute feet.
Someday Victoria is going to be walking around a bookstore, holding hands with her husband, because that is what you do when you walk with Victoria—hold her hand. She is going to see my book there, in hardcover, and suddenly exclaim (Victoria does not yell, she exclaims), “That’s my book!”
Her husband will roll his eyes and say nothing. Long ago, he gave up trying to decipher the mystery that is Victoria.
And that, my 7.3 readers, is why I started thinking about writing a novel, so long ago.