The Novel: Third Time’s the Charm


I am once again registered with NaNoWriMo, writing my novel, a novel, the novel. This time–the third time?–this time I will succeed.

This time, I will get that novel, The Saga of Kelly and Nicholas, published, even if I need to self-publish.

Having taken so long to focus on my writing, I wanted to rehash my writing life from the beginning to present. A bit self-indulgent, I suppose, but nonetheless, I present my writing life.

The Beginning

The true beginning was when I was in second grade with Sister Mary Earl of the Dominican Order. She taught me I was a writer and not an artist as my mother said.

What I wanted then (what I still want) was to tell stories so compellingly that no one could stop reading. What’s going to happen next?

I wanted to hook my reader, and so I wrote about what I loved: horses, giants, bad people.

I illustrated my own stories, and what I lacked in talent, I made up for with enthusiasm. I drew pictures of giants, whose legs lacked knees and whose fingers lacked joints.

I brought home those stories and my mother would ‘ooh and ahh’ for hours. Over the illustrations.

Still, I persisted…

High school was rough. Elsewhere on this site is my post, “Just Who Are You Calling Crazy?” That piece should encapsulate most of the problems I faced.

When your mother dies a week before you start high school, it’s bound to derail you, and I was quite derailed.

Still, I like to look at high school as the time in which I dug the earth, planted the seeds, and waited to water them.

And then…

The Middle

My daughter was born. First time mothers will understand how drastically giving birth changes you. Basically for the good. And I was compelled to write about that, and so I did.

I called the piece: “Nine Hours, July 2,” and if I can find it, I will post it here. For a while Redbook wanted the piece, but I wasn’t an experienced enough writer to edit it as they’d asked. Instead, Baby Talk published it.

I thought I was set. Destined to be the new Stephen King or John Irving or someone.

Instead, my husband got sick. Quite sick. And we went bankrupt and lost our house, and I kind of went crazy from the stress, but the crazy was the water I needed for those seeds I planted years ago.

The Present

I refuse to call this time in my life ‘the end,’ no matter how much it matches “The Beginning and The Middle.” Won’t do it.

So now I am once again working on a novel The Saga of Kelly and Nicholas, leaning on my friends and NaNoWriMo in an effort to finish and polish and edit and edit and edit and edit.

Will keep you posted.


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