It’s November already. I’m not sure how that happened, because I was just in the pool with my grandchildren. The leaves started to change and now they are off the trees. Life moves on quickly the older I get. My husband will be sixty-six in December. We were high-school sweethearts. Our forty-seventh wedding anniversary is in December and we still argue about the same issues we did when were eighteen. Somethings never change.
A faithful reader contacted me today asking for a timeline for character ages in the Pam books. Keeping the ages straight has been a struggle, even as I placed them in an outline. Re-editing Pam of Babylon last year was challenging because at one point Marie was thirteen years older than Pam’s children, and then later she was suddenly twenty years older. Changing that was not as daunting as I thought; I discovered I could simply remove the references to her age. Taking poetic license may seem a cop out to some, but to me its a way of keeping Pam young.
The longer I write about Pam, (and the more I grow to love her,) I’m so regretful that I didn’t make her ten years younger when Jack died. Pam of Babylon was my first book and truly, I didn’t know what I was doing. The way I am dealing with it is to have her and the others stay where they are while life moves on around them. I hope it won’t be too obvious, although to my reader it might be aggravating. I suppose Pam will be having a sixtieth birthday soon and I’m dreading it.
So my answer to the email follows.
I don’t have a timeline except that Pam was about fifty-five when Jack died and Lisa and Brent were in college. I have fudged a little because I don’t want Pam to grow old. It appears that Nelda and Bernice have stayed eighty for a while. I have some readers who will mutiny if I kill the old people off and I really don’t want to anyway. Thank you so much for your faithfulness!
Although it’s unorthodox, ages may shift a little occasionally to allow time to pass, new lovers and boyfriends to be introduced and people from the past reemerge while preserving the status quo.