One of the questions I get asked a lot is where I get my ideas from.
My answer is always disappointing to some, because I get them from everywhere, all of the time. There’s no special sauce, which I think many want to know the recipe for. I’m sure there are times when I don’t even realize I’m being influenced by something.
However, the concept of a forever place sticks out in my head, and I used it in One Golden Summer.
When I moved back to Massachusetts from Britain, it was a complete surprise. We’d recently received five-year visas when the chatter about recalling American employees started. I was on my partner’s work visa, but the uncertainty of Brexit was making a lot of American companies skittish.
So, less than a year of arriving in Britain, after a year and a half break in Ireland (another weird aspect of our first British visas), I was on a plane heading home.
Yet, America didn’t feel like home anymore. I’d been away for nearly eight years, and much had changed in my absence.
The fact that I didn’t have a choice in the matter also rankled.
Back in the US, I was in charge of getting the apartment set up, while my partner closed up shop in Britain.
About a week into unpacking boxes and buying furniture (we no longer had any basics like a bed, couch, or even a camp chair), I was taking out the rubbish (why is there always so much trash when you move?), when my new neighbor flagged me down.
We introduced ourselves, and her young son asked me if the new apartment was my forever home.
He’s an adorable, sweet boy, and the way he spoke touched my heart.
It also struck a nerve since at that moment in time, I felt rudderless.
When it came time to craft Saffron’s backstory, the concept of her never feeling like she had a home spoke to me, and I remembered my young neighbor with his wide, honest eyes asking me that question. It became one of the main themes for Saffron.
Now, over a year after my move, the world is even more terrifying than when I returned. I wonder how long it will take me to feel like I’m finally home in my forever place.