Texas Gothic Part Three: Autobiography
Hobbes County (the name of my Texas Gothic project) is a fantasy novel. There is no question about that. What is at issue is how autobiographical the work is going to be.
Hobbes County, a fictional county in Texas, bears resemblance to McLennan County in Central Texas, Cushing in East Texas, and Santa Fe on the Texas coast. All three communities influenced Hobbes one way or another.
McLennan County is the primary influence on Hobbes. I grew up in McGregor, Texas. And my conflicted feelings about the place drive the interior conflict of the narrator. Also, it helps that McLennan County is rich in folklore and urban legends.
My grandparents used to live in Cushing, Texas when I was a child in elementary school. Their small farm layed outside the small town by some miles. Indeed, rural is a good way to describe it. What I remember most about my grandparents’ old farmstead is the rickety old bridge that, to my child’s eyes, spanned a chasm impossibly deep with a sickly green river meandering on its way. I also remember me and my myriad cousins trooping over to the cemetery next door. All in all, my grandparent’s old place (which was sold off years ago) was something else.
For about a year, my family moved to Santa Fe, Texas to be closer to the rest of the family (my grandparents had moved back to Santa Fe by then). The move was an unmitigated disaster. Indeed, once we moved back to McGregor, it would be another decade before we visited them again. I hated Santa Fe with a passion. But, in hindsight, I can’t help but wonder what would have been.
What of my past will be included in Hobbes County? That rickety old bridge for sure. Definitely that old farm. And maybe speculating on what might have happened if I were bolder.
I must now conclude my Texas Gothic series. For the next three days, I think I’ll play around with topics. Until then. . .