Day 36 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: A Secret
Writers begin with reality and life situations and go wild from there. I did that with Miss Holland, Marta’s dance teacher. She is based on my wonderful Bremerton dance instructor Margie Speck. Here’s how they became one in my mind.
Both dance instructors were thoughtful, positive and gave 110% to all their students from beginner to advanced. Both used record players and tape decks as sources of music. Both had commercial building spaces with concrete floors covered with linoleum. These and other facts moved to fiction as I began 84 Ribbons. They continue into book two, When the Music Stops as we head back to Bremerton with Marta. I kept the same location but added imaginary extra dance space in book two. To my mind the entry, waiting area and large dance studio are clear as when I danced in them from age ten until college. I hope readers get the feel of the space but I’ve left room for their personal image-making, something I appreciate when I read.
Early dance years Margie used other spaces as they became available and finally found the building I used in the book. The early spaces were often stages of fraternal or social organizations with wonderful floors but limited availability to extend dance hours and classes. Margie gave up the better stages to advance her dance school. Case in point the Joffrey Ballet did their warmup in our studio because the stage wasn’t available in time for them to practice before their performance.