In the past few days, I found some writing time. I'm writing an early chapter book based upon my childhood experiences living in historic Chautauqua Park. I was inspired by Tomie dePaola's 26 Fairmount Avenue, and Grace Lin's The Year of the Dog. Both stories reflect a year-in-the-life of a young child, inspired by the author's own lives. I can do that! And I've never been so excited about a writing project. I've already written two chapters, enough to share with my critique group later this month, after some polishing.
Once again, however, I've irked my personal censor. He wants my story to portray a strong, positive, caring, African-American father. And I, myself, would rather not perpetuate negative images of black men, particularly in books that will be read by young black males. Thing is, I'm writing my personal story. My main character will be 6-year-old Donny Tate. His father will be a mean, uncaring, selfish boob, who stays out all night and, sometimes, doesn't come home at all. Just like mine.
My censor doesn't like that, and neither do I. But it's real life.
Edit to post: Strange, my mom emailed this photo to me (caption reading: I didn't know you were a Supreme). It's me, my dad and mom and my younger brother (two other younger brothers, not pictured, came later). This photo represents the time period I'm writing about. My mom has no idea I'm writing this story, or that this photo would help. Weird.