Saturday, October 30, 2010

Waiting for NaNo

Just one day until NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st! I’ve been working hard on getting everything ready to start my novel. This will be my first try doing the NaNo competition and, assuming I stick to the end (which I intend to do!) my first completed solo novel.

I made a simple outline—hopefully will help me keep from getting stuck but will let me have freedom to let my characters lead. Since my story is about two runaway foster kids, I have their road trip planned with maps printed out for their path from southern California to southwest Washington.

The manager of Washington’s Children’s Administration (foster care system) even took a while to talk to me on the phone for a while, answering my research questions for the book. She was very helpful.

I’ll be posting small excerpts of the book throughout the month, so you all can follow along with my progress, if you like. Here’s my synopsis and a banner I made for fun for the story.

Sage is independent and determined to prove it. After his parents died five years ago, he’s been bounced from one foster home to another, and now at seventeen he is sick of it and ready to be his own master. As he skips town, he stops to say goodbye to his little sister, Sky. But when he sees her bruised and tear-streaked face, he knows he can’t leave her with an abusive foster family and impulsively takes her with him.

Sky is young and scared. Sage isn’t sure if she even remembers what it’s like to have a real family and she definitely doesn’t trust him. She seems to be pulling further and further away. Can he reconnect with her before it’s too late?

As the two escape across the U.S. they begin to realize that it’s not just social services after them, but someone scarier…and deadlier. Will they be able to leave the past behind and find a future together?


Sunday, October 10, 2010

God of the Silly and Impossible

I just finished the rough draft of I Will Dance, a historical fiction novella for Peculiar People’s Heirloom Chronicles book, I Will be Found. This is story I’ve had in my head since I was a teenager, and we’ve been theoretically working on this book for several years, but somehow I’d never been able to get it out on paper. I finally did it!

Not only did I finish that long-awaited project, but this is the longest solo writing project I’ve actually finished. I’ve always been a little ADD with my writing, and never managed to get much done on a novel before loosing interest and moving on to something else. Each new story idea that pops into my head is "shinier" and more exciting than whatever I'm working on at the moment. I’ve also pretty much only done creative writing when I felt like it. When I was in the creative mood.

This month I made myself write almost every day even if I didn’t feel like it (unless I was really sick—which is fairly often). Some days it was only a couple of paragraphs, and other days it was several pages. And I found that when it’s not flowing all easy and pretty, then writing can actually be work. But sometimes making myself do it will cause the creative flow to come back again.

I know the rough draft will need a lot of work to smooth it out, but I praise God that I finally finished! Do a happy dance with me!

This novella was 13,000 words. In November I’m going to do NaNoWriMo and try to write 50,000 words in thirty days. When I struggled this much to get 13k done, why do I think I can get 50k done? Especially when added to my normal writer struggles with writing block or the “blahs” is a fight with a chronic illness that can leave me nearly non-functional some days. Seems rather silly and impossible, doesn’t it? Well, for one thing, it’s okay if I don’t get the full amount done. It’ll still be more than I would have written otherwise. And for another thing, I happen to have a God who loves silly and impossible conundrums.

It’s true. Look at history. Think of the fortressed city of Jericho that had a huge impassible rock wall around it. What did God ask His people to do? March around it fourteen times. Silly actions to attempt the impossible. But that wall fell down.

Think of a young man with only a sling shot and three stones going against a huge giant in full body armor. Silly and impossible. But Goliath died.

My own life is full of these stories, as well. Think of a young lady with vision-brain connection problems that mean she can’t remember what she’s seen or tell apart things that look similar. God asks her to become fluent in a visual signed language. Silly and impossible? But I am fluent.

Think of a lady entering a interpreting training program that is so difficult and intense that there is about a 20% graduation rate. That lady develops a debilitating chronic illness in the middle of the program. Her even thinking of continuing seems silly and impossible, doesn’t it? And yet, here I am, graduated.

Yes, my God is a God of the silly and impossible. He often requires very hard work and determination on our part, but then He steps in and does a miracle. I believe He gave me the talent and desire to write. Part of my being a good steward of those gifts is for me to…well, to write!

So here I am, once again feeling God pressing me toward the silly, impossible task of writing 50,000 words in the month of November. And I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see how He does it.

The best part about these silly, impossible tasks is that when the silly becomes amazing and the impossible becomes accomplished there is no doubt about Who did it. God gets all the glory.