Nothing is quite as intimidating as….
THE BLANK PAGE
It’s there, empty waiting. You can fill it with something great (or a little less than great). It holds all the potential of untold stories, unsaid regrets, proclamations of love and friendship. You name it, it’s all there waiting somewhere.
When I open a new document to start a new book, I stare at the page for a while. It’s a little scary.
What if I mess it up?
and then I remember, that’s what editing is for.
November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I know I’ve mentioned it before. Probably numerous times. So far I am on track with my word count. My editing on my other book (I originally thought I’d do both at the same time) is a little behind, however. I didn’t intend to do NaNo this year. But I had an idea and after it rolled around in my brain for a bit I found myself staring at a blank page.
And I jumped.
This came out (see prologue below). It’s not great. It’s not polished (this is a 1st draft after all). But it intrigued and surprised me, and I decided
I want to read this story.
So now, I’m writing it.
It’s been fun to see where it takes me, and I’m excited to see where I end up. I get a little writing intoxicated. It’s hard to put down the book sometimes – which is why I try to only write when the kids are in bed. I think the amazing thing about writing is that it comes from me. It’s something I created. I get a little in awe of that. And what is really neat, is to see my kids start to love writing too. That part is awesome. Probably the most awesome.
I love the ocean. The scent of it, the sound of it, the frothy feel of it, even the tang of salt on my lips. My dad often teased me that mermaids left me on the doorstep. That story ended the day after my fifth birthday when my panicked parents found me at dawn asleep on the beach waiting for the mermaids to claim me. After that we moved to a landlocked state in the middle of the corn belt. I wasn’t even lucky enough to end up near one of the great lakes. Mom was convinced the family curse had found me.
Mother claimed my love for the ocean came because of my great grandfather, Ezekiel Horn. He was captain of the Grey Lady which was lost at sea when he was thirty-seven leaving his wife and six children to fend for themselves. She said the sea cursed our family for his nefarious deeds which is why, until now, we never moved back to the ocean. It took all her fingers and toes to count the family members who died a watery death. And now, I need one of my father’s to count them all. Mom died when I was thirteen, a freak accident plunged her car into a river.
Father doesn’t believe in curses, which is why, when his dream job offer came along he jumped at it, even though it was in the tiny town of Newport, Oregon. I wasn’t thrilled about the move, but a chance to be by the ocean excited me. I never thought the move would force me to face my own watery death. Perhaps I should have believed in curses after all.
*(In general I hate prologues, so imagine my astonishment when I realized I had written one. I was both mortified and intrigued. I suppose prologues aren’t so bad after all… as long as they’re short. ha ha 🙂 )
Oh – and posting this was REALLY scary. I get a little nervous sticking my writing out there for everyone to read. Blog posts are one thing, but books (especially when you aren’t published) are entirely different. I mean, what if it stinks? ha ha. Anyway, to all those who hold back like me – listen to my husband’s very sage advice:
Take a deep breath, and take the plunge.