Novel Number Two

We’ve come a long way baby.

Novel Number Two.  Such a poor choice of name for a new novel.  Especially when my first novel River of the Stick Wavers has such a “kick ass” title.  Once I figure out the central story behind my new book I will, or course, come up with a better title.  Be that as it may, I am currently working on my second novel, third if you don’t count the one I didn’t get published.

It feels strange to be starting a new novel.  It’s much like beginning a game of chess.  You don’t know how the game’s going to turn out, but you know that once you’ve started, it can get really interesting.

I was lucky enough to have the idea for my new novel literally handed to me by my son, Simon.  He came to me one day with a photo he found on line and said, “This reminds me of Maggie.”  Maggie is a character in my current novel.  She’s an artists, you see, and in 1963 when Stick Wavers is set, she’s 70.  The photo Simon showed me was of a young woman painting on a dock with the water behind her, canoes beside her, wearing rolled up pants and her feet are bare, just like my Maggie in Stick Wavers.  I knew as soon as I saw her that I had to write her story.  To do this I would have to take her back in time to when she was 18, standing on that dock painting.  And a story was born.

Now comes the hard work.  Not to say that coming up with a story idea isn’t hard work.  It can be absolutely nerve wracking not to have something waiting in the wings to write.  I just got lucky.  Thank you Simon.


It will all come together.

Before I’d even completed River of the Stick Wavers, I’d already gathered historical information on-line, possible story arcs, and I’d done a tentative outline of what I wanted to do with Maggie’s story.  I’d even gathered a library of books that would give me lots of information to work with.  It’s always a fascinating process to take all of this information and construct a story out of seemingly disparate events.  I get a lot of my story ideas from my research.  I know what my characters goal is and I utilize what’s out there to help me put the pieces together.  The result is always surprising.  I love that about writing.

Now that I’ve already written one novel, and in the process of publishing it, you’d think that the next book would be so much easier.  Not true in my case, because I’ve decided to write my next novel in an entirely different format.  I can’t tell you what that format is right now, but given the time period, it just feels right to me to try this new style. I think that every new novel should be approached in a different manner.  Each story needs to be told in its own way, because each novel is as unique as the person you are writing about.


The good news is that what I bring to this novel is a new confidence, lessons learned, and a desire to be an even better writer.  I feel ready to take things to a new level.  What this means for me is to consider a writing retreat where I would go away for a period of time to a secluded location and write with other writer’s.  My days would be spent uninterrupted by the daily duties, and fully immersed in the writing world with other creatives.


I would also like to attend writing workshops that will challenge me to improve my writing style.  I never dreamed I would ever get to this point in my writing life. I feel like my writing world is opening up for me, and that’s an amazing concept for someone who is 60 years old.  It’s been a long time coming, but I’m ready for the journey. It’s time to overcome my fears and kick a little ass — as a writer, and soon to be author.  How cool is that?

Categories: Book Talk, Memoir

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