In my last post I talked about using memories. As much as a writer says, This came entirely from my imagination, there are often details that they have experienced that are part of the story too.

I like to have kids riding bikes in my books. As a kid I rode my bike everywhere.

In the summer I’d wake up extra early and ride. One time I rode my bike to Indiana and back (and I lived in Ohio). I’d ride to softball practice and to my friends’ houses. Sometimes I’d ride so far I’d have to find a payphone and call my parents for a ride home. Often I’d return home way after dark.

Cycling took me places.

You see, Like Roland in Cloud of Witnesses, I too wanted to get away, climb hills and if possible climb inside the telephone wires and travel all the way to a big town or another state. I grew up in Dayton so Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland sounded exotic.

When I went to college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio I used to ride my bike out in the country–up and down hills. It was exhausting, but I got to see what life was like away from the university, which could be a bit of a bubble. I rode my bike past trailers much like the one Roland and his family lived in with front yards filled with stuff, and past creeks and valleys with mist hanging above them like low-lying clouds. I watched the leaves change colors in the foothills,

I still continue to cycle. This past summer I rode my bicycle from Amsterdam all the way to Norway. A couple of times I was tempted to call Mom and Dad for a ride home—but that wasn’t an option.


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