Writing a book has been a life long dream. I have written poetry for as long as I can remember but I have never tried writing a book until about eight years ago. The book was very cathartic in that I needed to tell the story. Unfortunately, I wrote every detail I could remember. I actually had a friend insist I include a couple of sentence about a discussion she had with me. It did not add anything to the book at all. I ultimately took it to a counselor friend of mine. She gave me the most honest critiques I have ever had. The book was way to technical.
When I decided to start writing again, this book is where I decided to start. Almost three months later I have a list of character names and about two pages written on the book. Not exactly where I wanted to be after three months. At this rate, I will never get the book written. Where do I go from here?
Another idea I had in mind was writing about living in a nursing home. The great thing there is that I still live in a nursing home. The feelings, concerns, story ideas are all around me. It reminds me of living in a zoo or, better yet, the nursing home version of “One Flew Over the Coo-Coo’s Nest.” Most of my “roommates” have various forms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s. We have roamers, screamers, nudist and residents who are down right rude.
I decided to sit down and write out characters I wanted to use. I also wrote down stories I wanted to tell. Some of the stories are totally funny and some are extremely sad. I ended up with 7 or 8 pages of notes. Seems like I am on a roll. I love to see the wheels churning.
I have given myself a deadline of August 1st to actually start writing. I need to come up with character names and probably a few stories. I am not sure what to give as a title yet. That one is going to be fun.
I certainly need some inspiration, something outside of myself that would get excited about writing. My feet are so cold when it comes to writing at this point. I love to write. I can do outlines, characters, scene sketches, etc. I am having trouble putting it down on paper in any congruent.
So, I had an idea about 2 weeks ago. I decided to start a writing group at the nursing home I live at. I immediately had interest from 2 other residents. I was so excited. I even realized that the three of us were writing about some of our life experiences. I scheduled two meetings for the month of July. Today was our first meeting. One member did not make it at all. The other one was 30 minutes late.
Maybe it is time to regroup because I really want this to work. I suspect that the one member who did not make it was probably not gotten out of bed. She is basically bed bound and needs major help to get into her motorized wheelchair. The nature of the beast in nursing homes is that the weekend staff is not willing to do a lot of things that they should be doing. So I am sure she was not put into her chair today. I will find a way to work around that. She deserves the group just as much, if not more than the rest of us.
Thank you for letting me share today.
I love writing. It is what I have always wanted to do. I remember when I was first learning to read, I read street signs, what I could of the newspaper, simple books, anything and I do mean anything I could get hold of. I was a good story teller. In fact I still am a good story teller. I wrote a lot of poetry growing up and can still do that when the need arises. But what I have always wanted to do was write stories. I wanted to tell my stories to the world.
My favorite topic growing up was westerns. I loved watching westerns – The Lancers, Bonanza, Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke, Big Valley, Have Gun Will Travel, Wild Wild West, and my favorite High Chaparral. I have some wonderful story ideas regarding the High Chaparral. Someone has suggested that I do some fan fiction with the ideas. I would get the acknowledgement of having written the story from a readily available audience of 4 or 5 facebook pages dedicated to High Chaparral. It would satisfy much of my need to write.
Part of the problem of writing fan fiction would be that I have three story topics that I have a heart tug to write. It is definitely a major desire, an aching to tell these stories. I know how to verbalize a lot of each story. I could sit there and tell the story to an audience any day of the week. Telling the stories could take care of a bit of the problem. I have a feeling though that more people need to hear the stories I want to tell.
So this brings me back to writing the stories down. I have actually written a draft of one of my stories. The audience I wanted to reach was the general public, the average Jack and Jill. The first draft was better suited for the medical professional. It would need work even then. I wanted something that was inspirational to the general public. There is something about telling my near death experience on the way to get a weight loss surgery that would help other obese people get the help they needed. I do not always encourage having surgery but I do encourage people to work on themselves instead of waiting until just before they die to do what needs to be done. I need and want to reach a large group of people. Does that make sense?
I have at least two other stories in me. One is a fictionalized version of living in a nursing home. It is based on true events and people so that , again, the general public got an idea about what patients actually feel and have to live through. It is not all doom and gloom but it is also not all happiness and joy. Their is a need to have loved ones in a safe place. It is hard when there is a blend of rather cognitive people and those with various degrees of Alzheimers. My sister even noticed that my patience is wearing thin after being here 14 months. I would have to agree with her.
It is ironic to me that when I want to put pen or pencil to paper and actually write, songs come to mind. Lately it has been the theme song to LOVE STORY. Where do I begin to tell the story of how great my life could be. Then there is nothing.
So what I have been thinking of doing is writing down inspiration sentences. The only thing that came up was a dream I had several years back. It was one of those dreams that seemed so real, as if it were happening all night long. I dreamed I was eating food from a particular restaurant that I loved. About 4 or 5 in the morning I woke up to go to the bathroom. Before I went back to bed, I made sure that I had not done what I believed I had. So I checked the trash can for the to go containers. There was nothing. I checked the refrigerator and there was no containers there either. I started to breathe a little easier when I had a horrible thought that I took the containers to the dumpster. I finally told myself that it was just a very vivid dream and to relax.
The reason this was such an alarming dream for me is that I had weight loss surgery revision about 10 days before. I was on liquids at that point and some how eating jalapeno poppers, fried mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, brownies and/or cheesecake all night was not a great thing to be doing. I was craving food so bad that it was invading my sleep world. How do I write about that with some interest? Do I described the senses – smell, taste, etc?
Okay, so what I will do is write one sentence that could begin a paragraph. One dream sentence to remind me what to write about. Then I can come back and write from there later. I do not have to do the whole thing perfectly, just one awesome sentence.
About three or four months ago I began reading THE ARTIST WAY. I had bought the journal that went with it. It was suppose to take me 12 weeks yet, I had to take 13 weeks. I got overwhelmed one week and just could not get everything done that one week.
I had begun the book not realizing what it meant to be creative and spiritual at the same time. Over the course of time I began to talk more and more to God while journaling. I talked about my book ideas. I discussed how I wanted to do something that mattered. It was during this time that I realized which story I needed to tackle first. It was the book I had tried writing some 8 year ago.
I could not understand how I had forgotten about it. It was a topic that was close to my heart and I do mean literally. I had ended up in the hospital with Congested Heart Failure, COPD, and dieing. I weighted 479 pounds. Seventy-eight pounds later I had a weight loss surgery. The next 12 years proved to be a struggle. My weight fluctuated but my health improved drastically. I was no longer dieing. I had to learn to live with and except I was disabled. I had to realize that I was a precious child of God. My journaling over that 13 week process helped me realized how much healthier I was emotionally and physically.
So it was those weeks of writing and talking with God. Not only is creativity a spiritual journey but I also realized that I am a creative genius.
I had put off writing my first novel by nine days. That is not to say I wasn’t working on. I was doing a little something everyday. Well that is to say everyday except yesterday. Today I wrote the first paragraph. I don’t know whether I like it or if I’ll keep it. I certainly don’t know where to go from the first paragraph.
I have anticipated the moment of writing this book for literally eight years now. I have always had a dream of being a writer and here is my chance. I am fortunate that I have two other story ideas. It could be that I work on all three stories at once but that could be frustrating and lead to three very bad stories.
I guess I worry about fictionalizing a very true story. I am afraid I will accidently type the name of a real person instead of a fictional name. I am afraid that I will not fictionalize the story enough. Even worse then that, I am afraid the book will actually be good, it will be published, and it will be a success. I really could be a successful author.
So where do I go from here? I did start the novel in the first person. I am going to do a little bit of thinking tonight and will probably start writing the book in the third person. This may eliminate the accidental real person name getting out there. After all, I will be talking about fantasy people, people who only exist on paper. This could be totally awesome.
Thank you generous fellow bloggers and readers for listening to my silly struggles.