Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Another Story Finished! My own story...

I have been working on this project for the last several years. It is one hundred seventy Microsoft Word pages long. It is One hundred and fifteen thousand, nine hundred fifty six words long. It took referencing from my six or more journals that I kept from age 8 to present to complete. I can't even being to guess how many hours it took to write this story, but I'm sure it's in the hundreds. I'm so happy it's done!!! Completing this project is something I feel really passionate about and that I think everyone, writers or not, should do. And that is, writing our OWN story.

Once again, this is something I've wanted to complete my whole life, I just never had the motivation to get started. After all, writing your whole life story is a pretty enormous task. Sure, I could have just brushed over the years, highlighting only the important events and experiences, while losing a lot of the little details, but I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to record the memories of the first house I lived in - what it looked like, what I did on a daily basis, what it felt like to search for chicken eggs in the scratchy branches of the Juniper trees. I wanted to record what it felt like going into junior high and doing the scariest thing ever - auditioning for drama club with my memorized monologue from Anne of Green Gables, which I had practiced with my sister over and over again. I wanted to record the feelings I had leaving home and starting college, not ever dreaming in a million years I would end up in nursing school. I wanted to record my distinct impressions I had the moment I first saw my future husband, across the room at a bowling alley, wearing that fraying orange hat and looking like a hot shot. You know, that sort of thing.

Why do I feel it's important to record our history? Well, first of all, I'm naturally just kinda obsessed with capturing memories, remembering, and "passing on" experiences to the next generation. If there are lessons learned or miracles wrought or even just impressionable experiences, I feel that it's SO important to write them down, to remember them, and to include the details that will inevitably be forgotten over time. I'm not saying every detail should be written. But for the things that are WORTH remembering, you just never know how they could impact future generations.

How grateful I am that my Dad, grandparents, brother, and countless ancestors who all left their life histories behind for us remaining family members to read after they died. Many of their words have been real gems and blessings in my life. Family history is important to me. I appreciate knowing who my ancestors are through what they've written and left behind. I hope what I've written can be of value to my posterity some day. Plus, it sure is fun for me to look back and remember, because give me about 10 years from now, and I guarantee I'll have forgotten a good percentage of those little details.

Here's just a small excerpt from my story:
"Dad pointed to the mountains in the distance, beyond the tree line, and told me to look right where they met and formed a “V”. He told me it was coming soon and so I patiently waited, for something magical to happen. Pretty soon, something magical did happen between those dark blue mountains far, far away. Just like Dad said it would, in between where the mountains met, a bright light suddenly appeared. It was just like a sunrise, except the light was white and the sky was black. The light started to grow bigger and bigger, until a silvery, white, full moon appeared and began to rise above those mountains and into the stars. It was beautiful to watch – the brightest full moon you ever saw! I can’t explain the feeling of watching the moon rise with my Dad in the middle of the night, amidst miles of dark trees. I felt safe with him by my side, but there were also butterflies fluttering in my chest. There was just something about the emptiness of the forest, the millions of clear stars and the big sky looking down that filled me with that same mix of jitters, and magic that I’d felt many times before.
Then, out in the night, much to my surprise, while the full moon was seen above the mountains, Dad let out a loud and long “AHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Just like a howling wolf. This sent shivers down my spine. He told me to howl with him, but I was too scared. He howled again, and again, urged me to join him. I wanted to, but it gave me shivers! Finally, I gathered my courage, took a deep breath, and let out a long and loud “AHOOOOOOOOOO!!!” just like Dad's. It turned out, howling was pretty fun! So, there we were, the only  humans on the whole mountaintop, howling and howling at the moon, like two warewolves in the deep woods."

Friday, June 5, 2015

Novel Idea

Just as I've wanted to write children's books my whole life, I've also had hopes of writing a novel. I've had a few ideas for novels over the years, and have started a couple, but for some reason, I've never been able to get very far, or create the entire plot/ending in my head. I feel like it has to be something I REALLY feel passionate about, a solid plot, and a great ending. None of my ideas have ever felt like the whole meal deal - only pieces of the complete picture. So, I've just put the novel-writing idea away for a future date when I can devote more time to it...

Perhaps it was inspiration from joining my writing group, or the fact that I published my first children's book and entered the world of other authors, but one morning a month or two ago, I had one of those lightening of inspiration moments.

The boys started crying at 3 something AM, so I sleepily stumbled into their room to settle them down and then wandered back to bed. Then that's when it happened - the lightening of inspiration. I could NOT go back to sleep. For some reason, the random thought came into my brain of an idea I had for a novel several years ago. I never wrote the idea down, I just kept it locked away in my brain, working on it in the back corners of my mind here and there. Well, my head was now racing with ideas about this novel. My characters were developing further, the plot emerged, the twists, the surprises, and even the ending all came together in my head. I ended up staying up that entire morning thinking of all these crazy things! And instead of catching up on my own sleep when the kids went down for their first nap later that day, I typed up a 4,000 word outline for my "novel idea".

Isn't it funny how inspiration comes at the weirdest times? Many times, my inspiration has come late at night, or early in the morning, when it's dark and quiet and I can just be still and THINK.  One thing I've learned is that when these ideas come, it's super important to write them down as soon as I can, so I don't forget about them. I have a whole "Ideas for the future" document in my computer devoted to just that.

So, for the first time in my life, I have a novel idea from start to finish, and even in-between.  I actually have some other big projects that I HAVE to get done before I even think about focusing too much on this novel.  But when I'm ready, my outline will be waiting for me. :)