As the New Year gives us a fresh start, I thought it would be most appropriate to share the first snow of the year, which is fresh and clean in and of itself! There is something magical about the snow, and the first days of the new year; both are crisp and new, both wipe the slate clean, both instill a sense of wonder and excitement for the times ahead. To start out the new year with snow feels incredibly appropriate.
It’s always hard to write the first post of the year, for me. I always want it to be something special, yet, generally, nothing has really happened in those first days of a new year. This year, though, is a little different.
This year, I’ve already written nearly 5,000 words on a new novel. I began with no idea what it would be about, utilizing the site WriteOrDie to push myself to just write. I thought the idea was ridiculous, cliche, boring, and cheesy. And then last night, as I ended the first chapter, I had a sudden idea to transform the novel from blasé to (I hope) exciting, and I am now raring to go!
I haven’t been this into my writing since I sputtered to a stop with Sweet Ireland Air. Everything I tried to write since then I didn’t like. Either I wasn’t feeling its vibe, or I didn’t like the ideas, or I floundered for a way to continue writing because my creative imagination wasn’t what it used to be. I think a lot of my writer’s block has to do with having gotten married and gone through the realities of romance.
Because for me, real life romance is nothing like a novel. I rarely get butterflies in my stomach; I wasn’t tongue-tied and blushing and giddy over new love. My first kiss was anticlimactic and I didn’t like it much, even while absolutely knowing I wanted to marry the man who first kissed me (spoilers: if you didn’t know, I did marry him, and now I very much like kissing him. 😉 ) Nothing about our life and romance was really what I had expected or, honestly, even hoped for.
And to be clear: it was so much better and exactly what I needed, and I wouldn’t have us happen any other way. I am absolutely in love with my husband. It just doesn’t manifest itself in the way of novels. (Go figure. What does, really?) But, since it wasn’t like the novels I’d read — and I didn’t expect it to be exactly like them, but I did think I’d feel some semblance of the butterflies all these novelists and myself had written about (my husband got them, lucky fellow!) — I felt as though continuing all of these books I’d written with the same sort of feelings was false.
So, for a while, I stopped. I desperately wanted to write novels. I desperately missed writing. But I had no idea where my place in the writing world was, now that I knew love and romance were not what I’d written about. Not for me, at least. And I couldn’t really continue writing in the same way. I couldn’t write about something so close to my heart as love when it wasn’t the way I had romanticized it to be.
Thus, my pen — or rather, keyboard — went untouched for four years and I let writing in novel form sit on a backburner. And then at the end of last year, I realized that I did not want to let my writing go, and that somehow I had to at least try. If writing was lost on me forever, then I would give it up. But I wasn’t going to let it go without a fight!
So I made a goal to write for 30 minutes a day, as you saw in my goals post. I used Write Or Die to motivate me, because I get really determined to meet challenges. That first day, I wrote over 1, 667 words in under 30 minutes (1,667 is the number of words needed to write a 50,000 word novel in a month) and while I thought the idea itself was a bit silly, I felt excited to have at least written so much in so little time. I was happy to see that I still “had it” in the sense of being able to produce some sort of story when it was demanded of me.
And I didn’t really like the idea, but it was writing and I figured this would just be the gateway to something more original and creative.
And then, last night, as I went to begin my next writing session, my husband threw out an idea as he often does when I tell him of my stories, and my brain started turning. I had just written the end of the chapter with a sentence that meant I needed to introduce the motivation of the plot, but I had no idea how I was going to make it an interesting plot until he started offering his own ideas. (Which I rarely actually use, because I want my stories to be mine and not someone else’s. I’m stubborn like that.) And his idea spurred my own… and I am now incredibly excited for this story!
It gave me the title, the plot points, the ending, a few future scenes; all things I can never quite do without when I’m writing a story. The title is always especially important to me. A title tells you so much about the story, and it’s kind of the thing that needs to pull a reader in. I rarely choose books with boring titles.
So now, I have to decide if I will share snippets of it as it’s being written, or if I’ll keep it all to myself until I can proudly announce that I’ve been officially published. Being myself, a person who loves to share stories with others, I will probably give in and share bits of the story here.
Coat and scarf, (old) c/o Oasap | shirt and headscarf, thrifted | tights, Target | shoes, Modcloth | earrings, Rocksbox
Pictures by my husband | Suko Photography
But for now, I will leave you with the title and the temporary summary (I’m still working on it) and leave you to wonder about the rest.
The Wolves of Moehr
In September of 1849, Irene Brennan travels to Ireland from her home in America to rediscover the heritage of her grandfather, and to find her own purpose in a life that expects little more of her than to care for house and home. But when she arrives, a chance meeting tumbles her deep into a world of mystery and change, where everything she thought to be true is a charade, and her life is irrevocably entangled with the mysterious wolves of Moehr.
Three words to describe this story: Victorian. Ireland. Werewolves.