word craft


Story Behind the Story #20:
Something Upstairs

Something Upstairs

  1. I was liv­ing in Los Ange­les, one of the USA’s newest cities. I moved to Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island, one of the USA’s old­est cities. The city is like a muse­um of ear­ly Amer­i­can archi­tec­ture. It was a rather like trav­el­ing back in time.
  2. I began to read about Prov­i­dence history.
  3. I was vis­it­ing a school some­where. A teacher took me aside and said, “I have a stu­dent who says it’s urgent that he talk to you alone. I don’t know what it’s about. But he’s very insis­tent. Could you spare a few moments?” My curios­i­ty piqued I said “Sure.” I was led into a small office and there was a boy sit­ting there fid­dling with a key chain. I sat down, intro­duced myself, and said, “I under­stand you want to talk to me.” He said. “I just want­ed to say hel­lo.” That was it. He had no more to say. But the moment becomes a key part of my book. It’s very believ­able because, in part, it is true.
  4. The Prov­i­dence house (15 Shel­don Street) I moved into was a charm­ing old one, built in 1835. If you go to Google Maps, and enter the address you can see it.
  5. The top floor was an attic that had been con­vert­ed into an apart­ment. It had old wood­en floors, and in the back was a small room. It had a stain on the floor.
  6. I began to read about Prov­i­dence history.
  7. I began to won­der who had lived in my house a long time ago.
  8. I put all of this togeth­er and wrote a ghost sto­ry set in the house. See point 3.
  9. I had writ­ten the book, but had no title. On anoth­er school vis­it, I read the begin­ning of the book to a class. They liked it. Then I said, “But I have no title for it. Any­body have a sug­ges­tion?” A girl raised her hand. She said, “Why don’t you call it Some­thing Upstairs?”
  10. Done.

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