I told myself that I wouldn't do NaNoWriMo this year. But somewhere in the middle of October, Joel asked for a novel about a kid who becomes a mythical veterinarian, with the additional caveat that the kid had to be a gnome.
It's why I've been away from Twitter (for the most part) and why I haven't blogged here. I miss my edu-teacher-friends. But I'm loving writing fiction.
It's been a slower process than NaNoWriMo. It will take three months or so with the first draft. But I'm realizing that I write best when I write for a deadline and when I write for a person. I have no idea who will read this. I have no concept of an audience. All I know is that my three kids are going to bed with my voice and with my stories, or rather, our stories.
People call fiction "an escape." I used to see it as an escape from the difficulty of life. Now I see fiction for what it does best: it's an escape to the difficulty of life. It's the place you go to make sense out of what is too deep, too painful, too optimistic for a world of "hey, did you see the Cardinals game yesterday?"
I'm not sure what will happen with this story. I might self-publish it. I doubt that I will even try and send it out to an agent. But I know this much: it's led to some great conversation and some great thinking and, more importantly, some great story-telling. If nothing tangible happens, that's okay. I'm writing a novel with my kids and that's good enough for me.