Rhobin wants to know how I developed my first story.
Way back when I was a nursing student, I had to make a choice. My place of training was too far from home for me to commute, so I lived in a nurses’ home, coming home on my days off. And this place was full of gorgeous 18 year olds.
Was I going to make a fool of myself, running after them? No. I needed something to take up my time, thinking and emotional energy. I was well established as a nonfiction writer, and decided it was time to move into fiction.
We were given a single lecture about something called Validation Therapy. Given my background in psychology (though this was long before I considered myself to be suited to be a therapist), the idea grabbed me.
I went to bed, thinking, I’ll try my hand at a short story about Validation Therapy.
In the morning, I was in that magical place between dreaming and wakefulness, which was not a good idea, given I had a shift starting at 7 a.m. My dream was actually a flashback to when I was 16 years old, and managed to get a job during the summer holidays by lying about my age. I learned to handle very hot objects, how to seem busy when there was nothing to do but wait, how to fit into the rough but friendly world of working men — and I saw a man die, as an unfortunate reaction to a practical joke.
As I was hurriedly dressing, I asked myself, “What if I’d met that practical joker many years later?”
This was in the pre-computer days. I spent my lunchtime scribbling.
The story, Peace for the Joker, won a prize in a contest, and is one of the 26 stories in my anthology, Through Other Eyes.
One of my occasional ways of entertaining my visitors is to publish a short story. So, I’ve done that. If you click on this link, you can read the story, right now. It’ll teach you what Validation Therapy is about.
Please leave a comment about the story, but also I’d appreciate a comment here. Then, do visit the other participants in Rhobin’s Rounds: