After I finished writing “It Starts with an Idea“, and then wrote down my memoirs for my grandchildren, “Class of ’67”, I had the writing bug.
There was a story I was wanting to tell about our best friend’s dad, Doug. Doug was like a father to me. When we moved from Utah to California, Doug always welcomed us into his home as if we were part of the family. I loved it, because my father had died years before and my mother died shortly after we moved to California and had our two babies. Even my mother’s second husband died shortly after she did, from a broken heart.
Doug was funny, witty, and always on-the-go. Some people thought his humor was over-the-top, but I loved his humor and him.
So, how should I tell the story? I thought of writing it as a non-fiction, like my prior two books. People were giving me great feedback on them, said they liked my writing style. But our friend was somewhat private about things. He’d worked on classified government projects with clearances and didn’t trust having a FaceBook page. When they decided to write a travel blog, they opted for WordPress instead of FaceBook so they could control the audience. So I didn’t feel comfortable writing about he and his family.
Instead, I decided to use the experiences I’d had with Doug and create a different person and family and wrote “Doug’s Last Laugh”.
Most of the activities did occur, but not always to the same family members. I made up a new family, put my friend and my husband in it as twin brothers, and voila – I became an actual member of the family, a daughter-in-law.
The ending is the true, special story of hiking to a tall, tall mountain in Montana to spread Doug’s ashes, to say goodbye to Doug, the man we all loved.