Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Hard Day for Dreaming

A little more than two years ago, I retired as a green blogger in part so I could spend my free(writing)time working on a novel. I've always planned to write a novel, and since the Day I Must Return to Work was looming closer and closer, it seemed like a good time to start. Two months ago, I finished the rough draft, and Michael had the manuscript printed and bound.

that time I wrote a novel

Let me tell you about this novel. It is partially based on some experiences I had in college and partially based on some thoughts I've had about motherhood and marriage, which means that the audience for this novel is very narrow - basically, people who are exactly like me. And if we assume that we are all unique individuals and that no one else in the world is exactly like us, we can conclude that I am the sole audience for this novel. So when I call it the Novel No One But Me Will Ever Read, I'm not being completely facetious.

I recognized approximately two chapters into writing it that the story had no audience and that it would never be published, but I finished it because it was something I'd set out to do. I try to console myself by describing it as a learning experience, but since my primary take-away lesson is that the type of stories I like to write (character-driven, heavy on the nostalgia) are not the type of stories most people like to read (plot-driven, heavy on the supernatural), I have to accept from the get-go that anything I write will be Novels No One But Me Will Ever Read. Spending two years on a novel just so it can sit in a drawer for the next fifty years is not exactly motivation to try again.

The title of my novel is A Hard Day for Dreaming (after a Rilo Kiley song), and the idea behind it is thus:
  1. About the time that Michael and I started dating, one of my old crushes suddenly decided that he liked me back. Every now and then, I have a dream about this boy, and when I wake up, I am always in a mood.
  2. Every young adult novel these days seems to revolve around some kind of love triangle. I'm a fan of love triangles, but one day, I started to wonder...what happens next? Bella chooses Edward, ten years pass...does she sometimes wish she'd picked Jacob? Does she regret the choice she made? (If I were stuck with Edward for all eternity, I know I would!!!) 
So my story goes like this: In college, Emma Whitacker is pursued by two boys. Ten years later, she has married one and dreams about the other. The plot of the novel flip-flops back and forth between the present (where Emma is in a mood after waking up from one of those dreams) and the past (where we get the backstory of those college years).

Right now, the manuscript is with my sister-in-law, who is hopefully putting together some solid feedback. I plan to have a couple more people review/edit the rough draft. Then I'll work up a final version to give to my mother.

This whole post feels kind of heavy on the gloom (perhaps I'm in a mood), so let me add:
  • What you don't see in that picture at the top is me feeling ridiculously over-the-top giddy about seeing 300 pages of my own words all bound up like that.
  • Despite its many flaws, I really love my novel overall, and I'm proud of myself for finishing it.


  1. I think that is amazing Erin! I totally want to read it!!

  2. I had no complaints reading it!! And I'm not saying that because your my sister. More people can relate to it than you think ( to both sides: did I choose the right guy and well I'm a mother, now what?)

  3. Of course I want to read it too!


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