Novel Thoughts

I’m writing a novel. Ok, I’m not ACTUALLY writing a novel but I’m thinking about it real hard. While I continue to plow through NaNoPoMo, a couple of friends of mine are doing a similar one month challenge called NaNoWriMo for the month of November. So basically I figured I have one year to think on it real hard and see what falls out of my rattling head come next November.

I actually BEGAN a novel about a year and a half ago after attending a writer’s conference I love called the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mi. I go every two years with my immensely talented writer friend, Karen. Karen is one of these writers who makes writing looking effortless. I love that Karen…she is a real gem. The fact that she’ll sit in a car with me for three or four hours at a stretch whilst driving from Chicago to Grand Rapids is enough to make her OK in my book, but I digress.

I started this book after hearing one of my favorite poets speak. I do not think it was anything that Scott Cairns actually SAID that brought it to my mind. Perhaps it was something in the way he read his work that stirred this thought in my head. The thought was this, “think about what you fear most. write about what you fear most. know about your fear and release it.”

I began to write what I believe might have amounted to one of the most depressing pieces of fiction probably ever written. (I’m not being melodramatic, ask the friends who loved me enough to read it, ack.) I wrote about a woman who loses everything she treasures. I wrote about a woman who loses her husband and children in a car crash and the aftermath of this. As she works through that loss she explores also the connected feelings of her losses in her family of origin. She explores too, her strengths and that of the women in her family. It could be quite good actually. The big problem with the manuscript as it is, however is not the depressing nature of it, it is the fact that I attempted to write it in First Person. Having just heard Marilyn Robinson speak and having just read and LOVED Gilead I admit I was inspired.

Truth be told, I’m nowhere near the writer that Marilyn Robinson is (as evidenced by my dangling participle…right there…) Add to this the fact that writing in First Person is REALLY hard to pull off. It was amazing when Marilyn Robinson did it, it was downright annoying when I did it. It’s like trying to listen to Kelly Clarkson sing “Respect.” She has a very nice voice and powerful in it’s own right but come on, no one…I mean, NO ONE can sing after Aretha. Close the store and go on home…it’s been done and better.

This leaves me 12 months to think hard about NaNoWriMo for next year. Will I ressurect the idea? Will I attempt to write the great American Novel along with 5000 other people? Or is it going to be more fun to try to make the internet explode instead with NaBloPoMo?

(making the internet explode really is such a satisfying thought…)


11 thoughts on “Novel Thoughts

  1. Ang,
    I’m humbled and flattered! Thanks for saying nice things about me. Our trips to FFW are such great memories…and one of these days BOTH of us will write novels and be famous:)!

    Aw, it’s easy to say nice things about you Karen…because they’re TRUE!

  2. And I won’t tell Dave that Scott Cairns is your secret crush….

    LOL and I didn’t even have to take the online quiz to find that OUT myself!
    Mrs M

  3. Mrs. Whether you blow up the net or write the novel thanks for taking us along on your journey. I think the internet is a cool place, but it is also a scary place because people forget what is ‘real’ and confuse the cyber virtual with the real. I think the net gives us too much leeway and too much anonymity at times and we forget there are real people behind the High Hopes, Mrs M’s and other names people call themselves. Just a Tuesday afternoon musing about the net.

    Well if I’m blowin up the ‘net I AM taking you all with me! bwahahahhahahah! I agree with your musing…whole heartedly, I might add.
    -Mrs M

  4. Fine, mrs. We’ll all go down with you. Detonate! And, yes, by golly, Ms. HH, there are real people behind the monikers. I am so real that just a few minutes ago, while reading a book about sugar addiction and how to wean it out of your diet, I became so fearful that I had to go get a cinnamon roll in order to calm myself down. Ah…THINKIN’ I’d better go back, suck up, and finish the book. lol

    Re the Blog vs. Tome internal debate, mrs., I think you’ll just know what you need to do. Until tomorrow, I bid you adieu.

  5. I’ll bet we would also buy your book just cuz
    you wrote it mrs. Of course, that is assuming that we
    healed rather quickly from the Explosion. lol!
    Why not go for it, You write
    very well on this blog.

    HH, I agree, it would seem that every good thing has the ability to
    also be a bad thing. T.V. music, etc: especially the net.

    Pink Beefs, I would love a warm yummy Cinnamon Roll right now.
    Dang, I’m on the net.

  6. Dear msmkpink, I wish I could have given you the delicious warm yummy cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting (no less). WHY did I buy them? Oh, heck, I don’t know. ’cause they TASTE so good? Did I know better? Yes. Did I buy them anyway? Guilty! Too bad we are on the internet, because I could slide the box over here and be done with it.

  7. My tip for novel writing is simple. If you write a depressing novel, give it a happy ending. If you write an optimistic novel, make sure the ending is miserable.
    Never fails ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOL, this reminds me of the movie “Stranger than Fiction” which I finally saw a couple of weeks ago. Great film…highly recommended! Thanks for the tip : )
    Mrs M

  8. Well Beefy if you are sharing cinnamon rolls you better pass me one and I will whip up the lattes to go along with them and share all around.

    Mrs. The other day we were doing home with the dd and it is amazing how much we utilize the internet from to just plain sussing out facts for projects. Call me old fashioned, but I actually miss going to the library, I can remember doing many a project there and digging through books. Note to self go to the library again, another note to self, go buy a real dictionary.

    I sometimes wonder if we are doing a dis-service to our kids by not teaching them some of the old fashioned ways of doing things, you never ever know what the future may hold, we are techy somewhat now, but what if something does happen and we don’t have the net anymore??? Weird to even think about it, but there is always a possibility.

    Ohhhh…see now you’re getting into Internet Survivalist mode, HH…lol. We homeschool so we actually DO use the library quite a lot. We go every week, sometimes twice depending on how life is rolling. I agree, though. I, myself am completely addicted to the internet. I have a post coming about that this month, I predict.
    Mrs M

  9. Hey Mrs, your great American novel is it going to be inspiring, self help, or a trashy romance novel?????

    If you are going to write something depressing please oh please give it a happy ending there is enough sadness out there ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I seem to be in survival mode a lot lately it would seem.

    Um, yes…all of the above. I’m starting a new genre. : )
    Mrs M

  10. Oh goody, let me know when it comes out, I need a good read. So what you gonna call the genre? I think you could call it the Musings of Mrs. M or the World according to Mrs M.

    Um…how about Fictional Pontification Musings?
    Mrs M

  11. Cream Cheese Frosting? Lattes? Mrs. wish you were an inventor,
    Just pass the Buns right on through and don’t forget the Lattes.

    Oh well, will just have to wait for the novel ( I hope with a happy ending)
    Please don’t leave us in suspense. Actually, I need a diversion to get my mind off of Pinkbeefs and HH delights in the food and drink department.

    On your comment HH,”I sometimes wonder if we are doing a dis-service to our kids by not teaching them some of the old fashioned ways of doing things, you never ever know what the future may hold, we are techy somewhat now, but what if something does happen and we donโ€™t have the net anymore??? Weird to even think about it, but there is always a possibility.”

    I have felt the same way, with all the technology which is a blessing in many ways, we have become so dependent upon its systems, a major crash could incapacitate us. Our children need to know libraries. Be able to do math w/o a calculator, know and experience the joy of good books.With that said, It has been reported that children that are home schooled are better prepared and better educated than many in our school system.
    I admire those that have the ability/wherewithall to do that for their children.
    Being a former Kindergarten teacher, I am concerned for my grandchildren and all children’s future. Dang, how did this get so serious, all I wanted was a cinnamon roll. and a latte for petes sake. lol

    Ah, underneath the desire for cinnamon rolls and lattes there is ALWAYS something more serious, Ms Pink…lol
    Mrs M

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