Why this story?

I have decided to participate in a 31 day writing challenge.  It may be a lot harder than it initially sounds, but I’m going to attempt it anyway.  Every day in October, I am going to attempt to have a blog post.

So the next question after I decided to join the challenge, was what should I write about?  Well, I think it’s finally time to devote some time to the novel that’s been bouncing around in my brain for 21 years.  So why this story?  Why has it been bouncing around and not coming out?  Why is this one important enough to write about?

21 years ago, I was a week away from the start of my senior year of high school.  We were at my grandparents’ house.  We were playing cards around their big circular table.  Spades, I believe.  When the phone rang.

You know those moments that just change everything?  This was one.  My grandpa was the one who answered the phone.  All of a sudden, everything was chaos.  Grandpa started saying “not my son, not my boy, no, no, no.”  Grandma fainted.  It’s the only time I’ve ever seen anyone faint.  Those two things are crystal clear about that night, but I don’t remember anything else.

My uncle, Freddie Woodruff had been shot and killed overseas.  He was in Tiblisi, Georgia, officially as an employee of the State Department.  Unofficially, he was the head of the CIA office there.


There are lots of theories, there are lots of rumors as to what happened.  Officially, it was a one in a million shot by a lone gunmen on the side of the road.  Unofficially, well, I still have trouble processing it, but the bullet entered the side of his head, not behind.  Unofficially, Aldrich Ames was arrested as being a double agent shortly after.

I was naive.  I never knew.  I had been told that Uncle Freddie was CIA, but I never believed it.  That night, I changed.

At the time, the movie The Pelican Brief based on the novel by John Grisham had just come out.  I had several ideas for a book based on Uncle Freddie’s life run through my head.  Several of them looked like The Pelican Brief.

But I’ve given it a lot of thought since then, and that’s not the story that needs to be told.  So for my 31 day challenge, I’m going to be doing research and then writing about what I discover.  If I get in a groove (and please pray that I do), I’m going to attempt NaNoWriMo in November.

Let’s see where this 31 days takes us.


P.S.  For the record, I have my grandmother’s round table.  It was the only heirloom that I desperately wanted, because I have so many wonderful memories around this table.  I love it.