Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Anniversary of an Idea, or What a Difference a Year Makes

August 2010:

I had a small infant and a wild toddler.  We'd just moved into a new condo in a new city.  We were sharing a beat-up 1991 Toyota Previa, which meant I stayed home while Josh went to work in the wee hours.  Felt very lost and very stressed about paying student loans and feeding my kids and you know all that grown-up stuff.  I was working on a contemporary ghost story that I'd started in June, and I was stuck.  I would set up my Mac and type one-handed while I nursed my daughter.

The prologue of CREWEL bursts from my head and I type it into a blank word doc.  I'm not sure what to call it.  I'm not even sure what the story is, or where it came from.  My best guess is I'd stumbled across the Varo painting some time earlier in the month.  Send it to my lone writing friend to see what she thinks.

Decide to get serious about writing and vow to write a novel in 12 weeks.

Disaster strikes and I fry my Mac.  Cry hysterically.  Call husband while crying hysterically and scare the crap out of him.

Mac is dead.  I killed it.

I'm pretty sure that I killed my chances to write anything at this point.

My husband comes home and takes his giant PC and moves it to a small table by my nursing chair.  It takes some getting used to, but he wants me to feel like I can work.

Write 10k of a very different version of CREWEL.  Decide I hate it and go back to ghost story.

By the end of August, I'm so frustrated I stop writing regularly and go back to blogging.  Don't pick up CREWEL again until November when I decide to start over with the idea and write it for NaNoWriMo

August 2011:

The Previa is still kicking.  I have a pretty little purple netbook gifted to me by my supportive mother-in-law.  I'm squeezing in writing time between blog stuff, revisions for my editor, and still being a full-time mom.  I'm still nursing my daughter while typing one-handed most nights, but she is a lot longer and much more wiggly now.

Getting emails about my foreign deals.

Filling out questionnaire for my publishing house.

Looking for a photographer for author photos.

Working on sequel for my planned CREWEL trilogy (over 20k in!) as well as two other projects.  Planning to pay off those pesky student loans and start a nest egg.  Enjoying my writing friends and my amazing critique partners.  Finally feel like I'm figuring things out.  Well, at least a little.

Happy anniversary, little kernal of an idea!

What has this year brought you?  What do you want to accomplish by next August?


  1. Wow! How truly inspiring. Good for you, Jenn! (or should I spell it with a G?) I have killed all writing in my life with this move. Now that we've been here a month I don't really have an excuse other than "I have nothing to write" but that's not ever really true, is it? I'm going to dive back into journaling, following Natalie Goldberg's ideas, and loosely working from her book "Old Friend from Far Away".
    This year has brought me more change than I could shake a stick at, but also more inspiration than I've had in many years. I started writing again late fall of last year after not writing in years, and believing I didn't have it in me anymore. This year also birthed a novel idea (haha, double entendre) which I haven't worked on at all, but it's good to know my brain can come up with new things. It's a good year, but I hope to have more accomplished by next August - namely, some "real" writing of my book.

  2. What a great year for you. So excited about Crewel. Can't wait to read it. And see you at WriteOnCon next week. Though I have to work too. Sigh.

  3. So proud of you! Love you, Genn <3

  4. Thanks everyone. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic these days.

    And way to go, Jess. I can't wait to follow your writing journey this year.

  5. This is awesome Gen. One word, or maybe two, no four. external hard drive and backup...