I am working on my newest book and my mind is full every day of potential storyline changes and ways to tell the story better. But I have to tame my mind, sit down, and just write. I can tweak and change and add when I am done. Notes are present in my car, my purse, and at my desk about ways to make description, characters, and scenes better…and I still have to just stop and write.
This has been my way and probably always will be. It may seem unorganized to some, but such is life. Kids are messy, dogs have strange breath, and everything needs replaced or repaired at once when you own a home. These are just the coincidences of living a full life unhinged and outside of Cinderella’s castle.
My new main character is only 10 years old. She is a brilliant and sassy ten year old with two sisters and a mother who is by her description, “nuts”.
Her life is like many kids in our world, full of struggle, little parental guidance, and no real plans for a future beyond tomorrow. Some adults may not like the book when I am done because it is not a fairytale. She is just a kid with real problems who handles them with wisdom beyond ten and the independent spirit of a prize fighter.
The first line of the book and the first paragraph in general, describe her personality:
“By the age of ten I knew my mother was nuts. What sane woman names her first child Vernelle Friendly Walker?”
At a writers meeting we discussed the publishers insistence to change a character to another age in order to meet the standards of young adult (YA) books versus middle age books (age 10 and under).
Even though I initially began to change my book, I decided that ten year old Vernelle deserved to tell her story just as she was. She is one of many 10 year old girls in our country who just doesn’t quite fit the standard. She is forced to live in circumstances she does not deserve, and balks at the commentators who suggest she has no hope of a real future.
She makes her own way, creates a safe space, and overcomes her circumstances with humor, with bravery, and with a fighting spirit.
It’s not such a bad thing to be different, not standard, and completely difficult to categorize as a certain type. This is what makes girls into strong women. Let them know at an early age that their lives are not limited or bound by society expectations due to their gender or living circumstance. Not everyone lives in a Cinderella castle and life…like a new book…has growing pains.
The new book is untitled for now but looking forward to finishing by October 2016.