It actually began in December 2011. My virtual friend, Willena Flewelling, told me about this organization called Nanowrimo.org.
Briefly she explained that every November thousands of men and women around the world join the Nanowrimo Challenge to write at least 50,000 words of a novel. The agreement is that it is a new novel, it is not something you have already started writing. The goal, and the excitement of this adventure is jumping with both feet, starting to write and just allowing the process to happen.
I joined Nanowrimo.org that December and basically forgot about it except when I would receive one of their emails telling me about a summer writing camp or the success of some of Nanowrimo’s authors. In October, 2012. Not sure if I would really attempt to do this, I received an unexpected phone call from the publisher of a local Florida newspaper for which I had written a column about 17 years earlier.
The publisher called to tell me he wanted to reprint one of my old columns. And in talking with him, he told me he had just published a novel. So I immediately purchased his book online. When it arrived a few days later, I opened it, read the first chapter, and said to myself: “Oh! This is how you write a novel.”
A few days later I attended the Nanowrimo kickoff party in Fort Lauderdale. They have these parties all over the world in local areas. I was obviously the oldest person in the group but the event was adorable. I won a prize of lots of goodies to keep me company while writing. And I signed a pledge to keep writing until I reach my goal of writing a novel.
My original goal was to write a semi-autobiography about my life and the things I know. But my brain had another idea.
This character emerged, a young lady born on a beautiful Greek island. Her family dynamics grew in my mind as I began writing. And then the love affair that caused her family to abandon her, her serendipitous meeting with a man on a park bench, her transport from this beautiful Greek island to a brothel in Switzerland, the beautiful daughter she gave away to be adopted, and the final reunion with her beloved and her family – all of this story being spun from my fertile imagination.
What unique and adventurous story do you have lurking inside your mind, longing to come out and be told?
So many books nowadays are memoirs, stories of real people and real events, often with a teaching or a definite lesson learned. Although I wrote about people and events and lifestyles so very different from my own, in the writing of this story I was still revealing so much about me. As a sex therapist, my insights into sexual desire and fantasy led me to create some interesting scenes at exotic dance clubs and a small brothel. As a therapist I explored the family dynamics. And I drew upon small bits of my own experience or something I had read about or even seen in a movie.
It all came together in my novel, Love in the Blizzard of Life (dedicated to the survivors of Hurricane Sandy since it was published around that time). And the total number of words was double the original goal, over 100,000. Check out the e book and Kindle book.
Want to write your novel but feeling afraid to take a chance? What do you have to lose?
Join NANOWRIMO.ORG and maybe next November will be the month YOU actually start and finish your own novel. It is truly an exhilarating experience allowing imaginative characters to take on a life of their own.
You will stand apart from the crowd of non-fiction writers. There are far fewer novelists.
Love Mentor and Relationship Healer
Where There Is Love There IS A Way
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