Archives for posts with tag: book

What's Your Story Typed on a Vintage Typewriter

I wrote a book. I did it. A year ago I was sitting in Aspen, brainstorming ideas for short stories or maybe a novel. Fresh off some writing workshops, I was itching to find my story. I wrote a few pieces or rather, started a few. Nothing came of those. In fact, I never finished any of those. I don’t think. I moved on as the year progressed.

I poured my heart and soul into a short story that I’m still actively sending to publications. I had to dig though some deep shit in my own life to write that story and at times it was painful and raw, but I did it. I revised it so much that it doesn’t quite look or read the same as the first draft. Such is writing life. It’s better.

June came around, the warm sun and beauty of summer in Chicago filled my life. In that early haze of warmer winds and sunblock and endless days, I got an idea for a novel.

A real novel. I’ve always wanted to write one but I guess my story wasn’t ready until I was 33 and it was 2018. I wrote and wrote. I managed to juggle a few side gigs, and two kids home for the summer, and volunteering, and yet somehow, this story found its own little burrow in my heart and burst from my chest like sunbeams.

On December 23rd, 2018, around 10p.m. GMT, maybe a little after, I’m not sure of the exact minute. I typed the last period of that novel. I finished it. I closed my laptop and left it on a large wooden dining table, connected to the world through the cord in the wall, silently sitting there behind the silver and glass, waiting for the world to discover it one day.

I set a goal in summer to be done by the close of the year. As fall and leaves and temperatures dropped around Chicago, I resigned myself to the notion that it would wrap up in early 2019. I just wasn’t getting as much writing time in as I’d hoped. Life and responsibilities dashed in and out of my set writing times, Mondays and Fridays. Somehow, a new obligation landed on my shoulders and my brain excused myself from actively sticking to those writing days. And extending the self-imposed deadline.

When you’re the only person you answer to, you can do that. So I did.

Then the magic of the 23rd happened in Aspen, Colorado. And I finished the book.

As I typed the words Epilogue, I couldn’t quite believe it. I took a moment to just stare at that word and the blinking cursor after it. I’d really done it. Then the Epilogue poured out of me in about thirty minutes. And just like that, I was done. For now.

It left me feeling much like I do when I finish reading a good book. Not sure what to do with my life now. What am I now that I’m done with this story? I’m in draft phase, of course, but really, I just keep thinking, what happens now? Do I have another story? Do I send my people, I created them, into the world? I will try.

On that note, if you know a good publisher looking for a new novel…..I know a gal…..

Happy Christmas and New Year. Sometimes we give ourselves gifts, and 2018 was the year I gave myself the gift of writing a complete story. I hope one day you get the chance to read it and fall in love with my people the way I have.

I am taking a step away from fitness and motherhood for one moment. One blog post. What? I know, I know. But I do have more aspects to me than just those two topics. For instance, I am an avid reader. A day does not go by where I am not nose deep in a book (well my paper white kindle). Today I came across the Daily Prompt on WordPress. What a neat idea, sometimes we need a little inspiration outside of our own world view. Today was such a day for me.

The prompt for today is: Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

Like I said, I read daily. I cannot get enough of books. I am up to date on the Pendergast and the Harry Bosch series. Both by different authors and both have well over 10 books. I think the Bosch series has closer to 20. I have read those all in the past year and a half. I love both of those characters. I recently finished both of the new books in them. I started reading each practically the day it was released. Neither of them popped into my head when I read that. No, there was another book that I read in between the two different release dates of those two latest books. It made my heart ache over and over. I cried. I cried at a book. I don’t remember the last time that happened.

The Shoemaker’s Wife is the book I write of. It was not quite what I had expected. A few times it left me feeling like I had been punched in the stomach. Not in a bad way. Ok, well it was in a sad way and totally unexpected. But, it was phenomenal. I couldn’t put it down. Adriana Trigiani wrote a beautiful tale that spans decades. It is a love story. It is a tale of immigrants. A tale of change, struggle, success, leaving, living, loving, and longing. I do not want to give too much away, because I feel that had I known the details it would not have impacted me the same. It most certainly bit and stung me, though. Some books I cannot put down but I do once they end. I move on to the next, not thinking too much of the previous, but this one will probably stay with me for a long time.

I love books deeply. I had a hard time learning to read. Once I conquered that hurdle there was no stopping me. I stayed up late reading even as a child and adolescent. I remember spending many hours at the local library, immersed in the books. Sitting on the floor in front of the shelves looking over what I wanted to borrow next. My grandma took me often. I loved being in the libraries at all of my schools. Even in college, I preferred to study in the library. Not in the large common area. No, I would find one of the desks in the stacks and plop myself there for hours. If those were all taken and I had to go to the study room, I chose one of the smaller ones that were on the 2nd or 3rd floor, and even then I got antsy. I love being around books. I am the girl who has books on her Christmas and birthday lists. It is a little different now that I have a Kindle. I have had one for two years. My husband gave me a new one this year  for Christmas. I had no idea, I didn’t ask for it, but it is amazing. I am in love even more than I was  with my old one.

Jack has a large library already. He isn’t even 2. I bought him a ton of books for Christmas. He loves to read. He begs me to read about 5 books at night. “Please, please, mom read!” I cannot wait until he truly finds a story that bites and stings him. I think I have already passed on the love of reading, I just hope he holds on to that love.

What books bite and sting you? Are you an avid reader?