Missing The District

I’m working on my second novel, a sequel to the one on submission. I’m 140 pages in, but since I don’t write chronologically, I’m not sure exactly how close to finished I am. The book, like the first, takes place in Washington, D.C., and as I write, I’m reminded of all the little things I loved about the place.

I miss it terribly. I miss it every day.

Oh pretentious swamp of a city, with it’s silly cobblestone roads and the snoots of Georgetown. The 25 year old men and women with impossibly serious jobs. The snow. The sun. The humidity which actually rivals Houston’s.

I remember playing frisbee with a group of friends at the Washington Memorial – one of my favorite places to be. I remember driving to Manassas often, and walking through the sodden ground of a bloody Civil War battle. I remember the Metro – and how clean and small and cute it looked compared to New York’s subway. So many small things come back to me now. As I write, I’m remembering, and missing, and shifting between fiction and reality. I think one of the great pleasures of fiction is you get a chance to do things differently, to correct the past. You get to remember the smell of fresh, clean Atlantic air, and the snow… the people. Lastly, the people. Some I’d rather forget forever, but whom I can not.

I remember I dated a guy – one date – who was a Top Gun pilot. He was an insufferable jerk. I asked him, “what was it like to fly a plane like that?”

“Busy,” he answered.

I always remembered that. I plan to use that in fiction somewhere. Busy. It was the perfect answer.

He’s one of the people I’d forget if I could – but he gave me “busy” and I guess it was worth it.

For someone like me, who does not have a family, the idea of a “hometown” makes up for so much. It gives me a place to miss, to return to for my fiction. It is the place I became the person I would write about.

I revisit the ones I miss in fiction. I draw them with words, and they do all the right things, and I respond in all the right ways.

Dark wind crosses the wide spaces between us. They were once real, and now they’re people I manipulate on the page. All that space between us… it allows for such easy text.

My love was real. It lasts. It crosses the dark planetary coast. And light…well, light does travel.

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  1. That’s one beautiful thing books can give us back—the past.

  2. Cara, you really are a beautiful writer. I can’t wait to read your first book and love reading your blogs.

  3. Cara, what is the novel on submission?

  4. Cara Ellison says:

    what do you mean? the title?

    • Yes, I am interested in reading a novel of yours (as I await the Enron book, which is what I’m really waiting for). Do you have one out now?

  5. Re the “top gun” pilot…the excellent blogger Neptunus Lex, a former Navy pilot and captain, was once a Top Gun instructor. He has an interesting story about an intersection between film and real life:


  6. Lee Keller King says:

    Cara, I would be surprised if he wasn’t a jerk. The talent set (and mind set) that makes one a “Top Gun” pilot is not necessarily conducive to making one a nice person. But hey, he will make a good character in novel 12.

  7. Cara Ellison says:

    David, that is a great link! I like that guy’s tone.

    Lee, I agree completely! : )

  8. Does anyone know if Cara has a current novel out, and if so, the name?

  9. Cara Ellison says:

    Hi Ron,

    Nope, I have nothing out yet. Soon though!

  10. Yet another example of your exceptional writing ability. I’m still anxiously awaiting the novel too!

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