Today while we were en route to a client’s home, a song on the radio filled the chambers of my heart with sadness and loss. The song reminded me of another time and the feelings they evoked belonged to a much younger me. It’s a tricky thing, that twisting turning path through the used to be and what once was. Occasionally, if you allow it, people, events and emotions can be brought back into the light, examined and culled for any worthwhile tidbit useful to a character whose purpose in your story has you mystified. The older I get, the more I find myself doing this regularly, mining for creative gold amid the debris of my youth. I suppose it’s part of entering middle age, taking stock and looking back, sometimes with brevity, sometimes with a protracted sentimentality. A week ago I reread a bunch of stories I’d written and I found it glaringly obvious that I’d pilfered nearly eveything from my own life! I wasn’t creating as much as I was recreating parts of people and places and the gift or curse they left behind. Eventually, they had made their way into the construction of each of my characters, every facet of their being already defined by each soul who has crossed my path or entered my life. I’ve now come to the conclusion that without the leaking from then into now, I would have no stories to tell and no characters to introduce. Without the leaking I wouldn’t be a writer. Without my history, I wouldn’t have anything to say.