Saturday, December 26, 2015


I signed up for NaNoWriMo last Month. November was National novel writing month. Although, for me, it was mostly just a month to stuff my face. I didn't stuff any more words onto the pages of my novel than usual. But I'm still plugging along. The creative sparks are simmering in the pot like fragrant turkey bones. It smells really good to me. I can't wait till it's finished and I can enjoy the soup. But to a vegetarian, it might just plain stink!

Novels aren’t written by muses who come down through the ceiling and shoot magic through your fingers and out onto your laptop’s keyboard. Before NaNoWriMo, some teensy part of me still believed that because writing is a creative act, it should feel easy. But fairies don’t write novels. They’re written with one simple equation:
Time + Work = Novel  Stephanie Perkins providing inspiration over at National Novel Writing Month 
So I joined NaNoWriMo and really didn't do a darn thing with it. Except for two things. I uploaded an excerpt. That was easy enough. The second thing I attempted with great difficulty. I wrote a blurb. The first, unedited draft of a blurb.  I'm not sure why encapsulating my story is such a difficult task. But here it is... 

Oren Walton is a farmer. He has worked the land of his birth for his entire life and persevered through

unthinkable loss, never losing his innate sense of humor. Now, he has Parkinson's. A disease that is

 pushing his good nature to the limit of human comprehension. He's hallucinating. Or, at least that is

 what his daughter Sedona and Lady Friend Lavinia are trying to persuade him to accept. He doesn't

 believe it. And after Oren finds love with a mysterious newcomer, he doesn't want to believe it. But

one thing is certain for everyone that loves Oren. The conflict these hallucinations create and the

 mystery that surrounds them will never be forgotten.

Keep writing until you reach the end. If you get stuck, take your protagonist down a different path. This isn’t the draft that you’re going to publish. This is the draft that will help you figure out what story you’re really trying to tell. Stephanie Perkins

An unedited excerpt from The Chorus of the Crows...
Oren stared at the man in the mirror. The hazel eyes of his youth were starting to brim with the soggy

 look of an old man. His thick black hair had turned silver long ago. But still remained a steadfast

source of pride The lines underneath his brow ran deep. They were like a time line revealing each

summer of plowing, every turn of the earth and all the hard work of harvest time.  Despite that, to his  

chagrin, the ladies at church always said he just got more handsome with every passing day. That  

 always made him blush. Oren picked up Amelie’s antique horse hair brush and ran it through his hair, 

front to back, always shaking.  When he was done he held the old brush in mid-air and time seemed to 

stop for a  moment, then he placed it reverently back on the dressing table.  It had been so hard to  

fasten all the little white buttons on his shirt; he put on his favorite tonight, the dark green linen; washed

 and pressed by Lavinia of course. Shoot, there goes another pang. Oren shook his head and

proceeded to gingerly step into a clean pair of bib overalls. He had to sit down on the bed half way 

through the process. It was either that or fall down. And he preferred the former. After he snapped the

last buckle, he slapped his hands on his knees and finally spoke, “Well, I reckon I’m spiffed up about 

mighty nice by now. I sure hope that sweet young gal is a waiting on me like she said.” Oren pushed

 himself up and walked out into the dining room and through the kitchen to the front door. He switched 

on the mudroom light and let the screen door slap behind him. “I expect it might be a late night,” he

said. Then he slowly made his way to the R.V.

Happy New Year fiction readers and writers!

Be sure to fly back to the Chorus of the Crows on January 30th for my first post of 2016.


Karl Jorgenson said...

Really a pretty good blurb. You told me the book's about Owen and there's mystery, tragedy, humor, love. Makes me want to read it.

Writing a blurb is difficult for a lot of reasons. You've got all this great stuff! It's going to take me 32 pages to tell you about it!
No. He burns his hand on the stove and realizes that his ex-wife will never get over him--interesting, but it isn't THE STORY, it's just something that happened in the story.
You have to find that essence, that super-compressed, minimalist telling of the story that makes the reader understand what sort of story it is and be attracted/curious to read more.
I have found that I couldn't write a decent blurb and the problem turned out to be I hadn't written the book I set out to write. I was trying to write a blurb for a book that didn't exist. When I focused on the book I had written, the blurb came easier. Lest you think this is a happy ending, it is not. I must now examine the book from every angle to make it conform to the blurb and to the book as it exists, removing the parts where I'm trying to force it be something else that didn't work out.
For this reason I recommend writing the blurb early in the process. Find out sooner if that story in your head is going to work in print. Because if you can't summarize it in a paragraph or two, maybe it won't.

Linda Hensley said...

Good blurb :) Somehow I think I'd be better at blurbs than novels? I started a novel though and now you're making me wonder if I should go back and do something with it. Keep writing!