Work-in-Progress: Not a Masterpiece…

I have been working on my novel in progress. This book is a big stretch for me. It’s about a 17-year-old rural Texas girl, Hannah Price, who is gifted at playing the violin and has been preparing for months to go with her music teacher for an audition at Juilliard. However, just a week before her audition, her father, who is the stable person in her family – her mother is an alcoholic – escapes from the police after being found in a cabin in the woods with a tableful of drugs, a black woman and a biracial child. To add to the confusion, Hannah’s twin brother has the same name as his father (he is a junior) and is taken to jail by the police and charged as an accomplice to the crime since he was picked up by the sheriff not two miles from the cabin. Hannah suspects that her father (along with the woman and the baby) have headed to Los Angeles where his estranged brother lives and she, her drunk mother and the grandmother of the baby, Skinny Hutchins, all board a plane for LA in an effort to find, “The Right Price.” All have their personal reasons for the trip, but Hannah learns more about her family and herself as a result of this journey than she ever would have dreamed.

Anne Lamott in her book, “Bird by Bird” speaks of “the shitty first draft” as a necessity for good writing. Well, that’s good then because this fits right into that category. I am allowing myself the right to do that – not go back and rewrite or edit as I’m going – just because after working on my memoir, which I shifted to fiction, I know that I will be going back later and making huge changes. Right now, I’m just trying to get the story down.

I must say I am enjoying writing this novel. I have a general idea of what’s going to happen, but nothing too specific. That gives me the chance to discover as I write. This is referred to as “seat-of-the-pants” writing versus outlining, but I just have to accept the truth: I am a seat-of-the-pants writer. I have a wonderful time finding out what is going on right along with the reader. We’ll see how I fare. I am trying to just allow myself the right to write and to play. That is good enough for now.

Off I go to bed. I have had a very full day. This is my busy season with college essay deadlines right around the corner. I have also just started teaching an online class.

Sleep well, my friends. I hope I do, too.

first draft

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