Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Cynthia Ruchti | A Collector of Scenes
Author Guest / June 13, 2014

Most novelists walk through life collecting stories and scenes and breath-stealing words like black knit pants collect cat hair. We can’t walk through a room or a day without something landing and sticking. When I sat down to write ALL MY BELONGINGS, I drew heavily on those stick-forever moments. The main character in ALL MY BELONGINGS, Becca, is a selfless caregiver. Even when rebuffed, shamed, and unappreciated, she kept caring. As I wrote scenes of Becca’s patience and kindness toward a woman who couldn’t remember her cherished son and flitted seamlessly from reality to a non-existent ballet class, I realized I was writing Becca as the caregiver I wish I’d always been for my kids, my husband, my grandkids, my mother… Some of Becca’s actions seemed so familiar. Where did they originate? Long ago, I visited an elderly relative in a nursing home. When she motioned for the nurse to take her to the bathroom, I stepped into the hall, but couldn’t help overhearing the nurse talking low and sweetly to the woman. “Bernice, why don’t I get you a dry pair of panties? You’ll feel so much better.” Tenderness laced every word that came from the caregiver’s mouth. At…