The overwhelming emotion that I remember from that time in my life is guilt. Robin had a collapsed lung, a concussion, and a broken femur bone. She spent weeks in the hospital and then came home in a body cast. I felt guilty because I could run and jump and play, while Robin had to lay flat on her back and use a bedpan. She was as helpless as a newborn baby.
I decided to write a middle grade novel about the accident. Though I was actually eight at the time it happened, I made my protagonist twelve. I decided to really give her something to be guilty about. In the fictionalized account, Sarah is supposed to be babysitting and is reading when the accident happens.
Much of the story is true: the injuries, the details about living with someone in a body cast, the fact that my dad actually bought a pony and brought it home in the back of a car, but as with my first novel, most of the plot is made up. What's true are the emotions.
Have you ever tried writing fiction based on a personal experience? If so, what challenges did you encounter?