I'm often asked where my ideas come from for my novels, and the answers are from events in my life. Recently I was reminded of my inspiration for my novel "The Boy in The Wood".
My wife and I marrried in 1988 and we bought our first home at what became 160 Running Deer Lane Rickman Tennessee. It was a small (987 sq ft) very basic home. But we made it ours. We had recently lost our first child to a late miscarriage and we were not able to have a memorial or just say goodbye. So we took all the items that has been bought and made for her and buried them in the front yard along with a brand new Bible opened up to
"For you produced my kidneys; You kept me screened off in my mother’s womb. I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made.Your works are wonderful, I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from youWhen I was made in secret,When I was woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes even saw me as an embryo; All its parts were written in your bookRegarding the days when they were formed, Before any of them existed."
The loss still weights heavy on me to this day. We brought our first son home here as well as our second. We raised our two boys here and behind this house is where a thick wooded area grows. Our boys would spend hours of each day in the woods and not far away is a river and me and the boys walked and explored it. These woods and this river is what became The Wood and the Walnut River in "The Boy in The Wood".
Behind our house however was a special tree and I built a little club/tree house for the boys and yes there was even an event where my oldest son saved my youngest.
All of our happy memories are at this house, this was the home we wanted to retire in.
Sometime in 2006 our loan was sold to Countryside and we had no idea, then in early 2007 I got a letter explaining that the government was going to take our house. I took the letter to a lawyer and he said he had never seen anything like it. He did some research and discovered that a nation wide banking failure was about to happen and the government was trying to avoid it by taking all of Countrywide's assets.
We had just installed a new field line, had siding installed and started a remodel of the inside. In May 2007 our house was auctioned off.
We met the couple who bought it, and they opted to continue our remodel using our plans. They added an addition just as we had in the plans and they put on a tin roof. They had dogs and created a fenced in area in the back yard.
Then they divorced and the house was empty for years and years. In April 2019 the house was bought for about $55,000 and relisted for $129,900 with not many appearent changes. We drove out there to walk around the yard.
I walked to the area where we buried our childs belongings and I placed my hand on her grave and cried. Outside it still needs a lot of work, gutters, paint, and the damage done to the doors and siding from the dogs needs repaired. The inside needs what is called a punch-list, the trim needs up and painted and a few walls need painted. It needs a lot of work on the addition as well.
The yard is in need of a great deal of work.
I sat on the front porch and just knew my boys were going to come running around the corner from the woods, I could hear their laughter, and I cried. I sat there and tried to tell myself it is just a thing, just a house, but even the look on my wife's face told me she felt what I was feeling, we were home.
I offered the seller $65,000. I knew it was a low offer and would not be answered but we felt we had to try. The reality is I'm not sure U.S. Bank would loan us the full amount.
We will not go back out there, it hurt too much and too deep, I know it will never bring $129,900 because it needs too much work.
But here is the listing
I hope whoever buys it takes care of our happy memories, the parties, the gatherings, the 1st time our boys walked, the first of everything. And I hope the items we buried remain where they are.
The house today, these photos were taken by the seller and are in the listing.
DeWayne Watts: I started out writing short stories and poetry. Some of which was published in the 1980's. I have parts of 5 novels written and have completed 2 novels. I have been married over 25 years and raised 2 wonderful sons who have been a great addition to the human family.
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The 3 Novels/Books Written By DeWayne Watts
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"The Boy in The Wood"
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