Runaway ~ the reality of homeless youth in fiction.

troubled teenI was a teenage runaway.

There, I’ve said it.

I left my parental home at the age of fifteen. I don’t recall the exact date, but it was still early spring, so it would have been right around my 15th birthday.

At the time, I wasn’t aware of being young. I’d never really felt like a child, anyway. I suppose you might say I was born an ‘old soul’.

I have no photos of myself from that time period. The closest is this Metropass picture, taken after I found my feet again. As I recall, I was painfully thin; full of bravado, but truthfully more than a little fragile.

A year later, just two weeks short of my sixteenth birthday, I married my first husband. I won’t mention his name. I doubt anyone I know would know him, but hey, why take a chance?

Suffice it to say, the marriage didn’t sing.

Gritty is the word that comes to mind when I remember those years. A writerly word, don’t you think? Captures the mood of a teen living on the edge, desperately trying to clutch hold of society’s fringes and hang on for dear life.

I seldom talk about specifics. Why bother? Things happened. I survived. That was then. This is now.

But I remember.

Maybe that’s the reason I so often find myself writing about young people — the abused, the neglected and forgotten… the teens we secretly wish would just ‘go away’.

My news for 2014: I have a new novel underway.

It’s in the early planning stages, so I can’t say much about it, except that it will draw on those teen-experiences of mine.

The best of art comes directly from the soul. First you live it — then you express it.

Wish me luck!

Donna Carrick – January 8, 2014

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