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A 2 Z: Novels past and pres—hey, look! an idea!

Posted Aug 22 2011 11:00pm
I could cover all three of the next weeks’ blogs in one slam dunk post about Novels about Orphans by Peculiar People but I’d rather spread those all out, so this week I’ll talk about my novels, past and present.

My first novel was Marissa, a historical fiction book I started as a teen and got about 10,000 words into. That’s my longest uncompleted work. It is about a young girl in 1854 who stays with a neighbor family while her mother goes to care for her parents who are battling Scarlet Fever.

Ironically, a few years later I actually came down with Scarlet Fever myself. These days they call it “strep throat with a scarletina rash” and it’s easily treated with antibiotics, but let me tell you, that was a horrible three days! I was literally writhing in pain every time I had to attempt to swallow.
But back to the point. Here is a clip from that story, exactly as I left it in 1998. (you should have heard me snickering and snorting as I looked for cute excerpts)
"I'm so glad you all are coming over! I know we'll have so much fun! We always do." Tanya smiled at Marissa and then gasped. "Caroline Thoger! Don't lean over the side of the wagon like that. You'll fall out."
"No I won't," protested little Carrie. "Du wagon weels looks neat tun'n wound an wound like that, when you looks at dem fwom du back. An du gwound movin by so fast."
"Well, you still can't hang over the edge like that." Insisted Tanya. "You mite fall out."

Since then I’ve opened a menagerie of documents that each contain anywhere from three pages to three chapters of a novel (and that's not counting all the short story starts). I get ideas faster than I can write them and that's resulted in...well, nothing. I guess I’m a bit ADD when it comes to writing and I get distracted by the next shiny idea before I’ve hardly started the last one. It took NaNoWriMo to keep me focused for long enough to actually write a whole rough draft—and that was only because it was over in four weeks!
In a file from 1998 I have a couple thousand words of a period piece, Changes in a Family, about a stuck-up rich family. Also in that year I wrote about some kids who got locked in a school bathroom over the weekend. Then there was the story from 1997, about a kids’ club, that got a whole page and a half dedicated to it. Another file from ’98 contains exactly fifteen words.
In 2003 I have files for a book about a girl with amnesia and a story about a cowgirl whose far-away aunt sends her porcelain dolls for her birthday every year until they finally meet and find a way to bridge the gap between the frilly aunt and horse-loving girl. Another file is called The Shimmer and begins a sci-fi futuristic story that is still high on my list of books to be written soon.
A file from 2005 contains notes and scenes from a story that eventually became Reaching Sky, the one novel I have completed to date. There I also found My Real Father from 2005 about a girl whose biological father suddenly came back into her life when she was fifteen. Her adopted father who raised her is Deaf. This is the opening scene:
The imaginary enemy agent hot on her trail, Adriana braked her bike hard and skidded around the corner. Leaning over her handlebar she raced the last few feet until she reached the safety of her driveway.
She screamed and swerved to miss the strange man standing in the middle of her driveway. Sticking a foot out, she managed to keep from toppling to the ground and gaped at the man, debating whether or not she should run.
Finally she managed to gasp, “Did you need something?”
The man smiled—or was it a smirk? “Yes. You’re Adriana, I presume?”
OK, this was freaking her out. How did he know her name? She climbed off the bike, keeping it between them. “Uh, yeah.”
A file from 2006 contains three chapters of a fantasy book, Beyond the Valley, about two boys on a quest to find a fabled treasure, as well as Threads of Pain, a novel about a young girl needing a kidney transplant.
One file simply has a list of fifteen book ideas or titles, some the same as the above stories. One of those is Reaching Sky and another is my completed novella, “I Will Dance,” which will be published in the Peculiar People's Heirloom Chronicles anthology.
Now that I’ve actually finished a book and a novella, I firmly believe I can keep myself focused and continue that trend. That list also shows M&Ms and Apple Cores, which has now become Above the Clouds and part of the Elements of Light series. I plan to write the rough draft during this year's NaNoWriMo. Over the next several years, once I've completed the third and final book (a new idea) in that series, I hope to write Threads of Pain and then start the Shimmer series.
I'd love you all to help hold me accountable and keep me focused!
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