Friday, March 23, 2012


My first novel.

It was already written in my head. I sat down at my computer and began to type away. It flowed onto the paper with seemingly little effort, (I’ve since realized that it feels that way only because I love to write, not because it’s effortless). I didn’t even use proper formatting, I just went to town. My husband and children read bits and pieces of my story, and encouraged me to continue. They said it was riveting, and I didn’t need any more encouragement than that. As a matter of fact, my husband kept telling me to keep going, that a longer story is good, (I had NOT done my research on word count. Actually, I hadn’t done any research at all). Before I knew it, I had a 165,000 word monstrosity on my hands. I had no idea that, at that word count, my story was completely unpublishable. More on word count later, as the story unfolds.

So, now I have this monster manuscript. A completely unformatted and unedited manuscript. And I’m so proud of it, what do I do? I make copies and let my family and a few friends read it, sure that’s it’s beyond amazing.

I’ll never forget the moment when I let my sister read my first manuscript. Hardly anyone had read it at this point. (Sierra) She faced me with her hands on her hips and said, “I want to read your novel.” I finally relented, feeling like I was letting someone read my diary. It was soooo personal. It was the night before my daughter’s wedding and my sister was staying at our house. She sat down at the backyard table and began to read. She was hooked, she said. She couldn’t put it down, she said.

Oh my. As an author, there is absolutely nothing better to hear than that. She stayed up ALL NIGHT to read my book. And she finished it too. I even asked her what her favorite part was, and she told me the exact line. The exact line!

We all need people like this in our lives--people who encourage us.

It was an amazing moment for me. It encouraged me to keep writing. Little did I know that I had a very long way to go.


Image: digitalart /

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