Days 28 & 29–Carrie’s & Scott’s letters

Due to the inspiration turbo boost over the previous two days where I managed to write four letters in one go, I was determined to finish.

Carrie’s and Scott’s letters were the most difficult to write as I don’t know them very well. I felt that the lack of grandparents in the kids’ lives needed to be addressed in some way. In the prologue it was mentioned by Lorraine that both her and Markus’ parents abandoned them when Lorraine told them she was pregnant with Michael. In my mind, I always felt that Markus’ parents would come back into the picture and that it would be through Markus’ death. Despite what happened, Lorraine is not cold-hearted and ironically, as a parent, she felt and knew that they had the right to know about his death and called them.

Carrie’s letter addresses the relationship that developed between Markus’ parents and all the kids. According to Carrie, Markus’ parents were overwhelmed at Markus’ funeral when they saw all the kids, as they were trying to process the loss of their only son and the discovery of 10 grandchildren, and ultimately regretted their decision. Carrie also says that she goes and sees them a lot due to being based in Los Angeles and being a lot closer to them than the others. While geographically, Julie and Elaine are closer to them, Carrie has a more flexible work schedule. Carrie also subtly references Markus’ Spanish heritage when she addresses his parents as Abuelita and Abuelito, which is an affectionate Spanish translation for grandmother and grandfather. Carrie also references the relationship she has with Julie and Elaine due to their living overseas. The three of them travel home together, usually going to Hong Kong to meet up with Julie and going home from there as it’s closer to Australia. This year, Julie has to work her flight home, apparently when they’re in airport bathrooms changing clothes, they talk away and take joy in the shock on other women’s faces when they inform them that they are sisters and have seven other siblings.

In his letter, Scott addresses the end of his career as a professional track athlete due to “dodgy muscles” (no official medical term was given, I deliberately left it ambiguous) and tearing his ACL at the Beijing Olympics, which were going to be his swan song anyway. He emphasises to Lorraine that her new marriage and with all of the kids out of the house in the New Year means a new chapter. Just like his cooking apprenticeship and impending career as a chef kicking off in the New Year is his new chapter, which was inspired by the AIS’ Head Chef, Isabella, who is his new girlfriend of two months.

Scott’s letter was the last letter I wrote for the novel. I also knew with Carrie’s and Scott’s letters that How We Got Here would no longer be a novella, it would be a novelette. At 14,577 words, my goal with the epilogue was to end my first NaNoWriMo with at least 15,000 words.

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