A Story About A Man Named Harold Crick

I finally started working on my book again this week.  You know, the one I started well over a year ago, but never finished due to being a full-time online student (you can only stare at the computer so long before your eyes start to fall out).  Plus practically all of my classes were literature-related, which meant my entire life consisted of reading Norton Anthologies and writing dozens of 22-page comprehensive papers.  I promised myself I was going to get back into it in September, but then graduation rolled around and I just couldn't seem to buckle down.  And now it's October (can you believe I procrastinated for two whole months?).

The kick-off for me was reading a blog post by this girl who recently got a literary agent based on three chapters of a book she hasn't written yet.  I thought my head might explode.  Nothing gets me working faster than the realization that someone else is out there achieving my goals before I do (possibly this says something very bad about my character - I'm not sure.  I choose to believe it's just a competitive thing and leave it at that).

So I've spent every free minute of the last few days reading, tweaking, and editing the 90-ish pages I'd already written, mulling over my old plot-line and character list, and writing up blips from my mental notebook (where I keep brief drafts of things I've observed over the past year that I want to add into the book).  Fortunately, I didn't come out hating it (this is probably why I procrastinated - I was a bit afraid I'd have to start from scratch).  There's just one part that doesn't sit well with me, so I've got to re-write it today.  (That being said, I must add that my reaction to this manuscript depends entirely on my mood when I read it - I can run hot or cold.  Sometimes I think I'm kidding myself pretending I can write, but I love writing so much I just can't seem to stop).  Which basically means that next week I can finally start where I left off.

This is a bit of a relief because I'm supposed to be starting the MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University in January.  Based on what I've been told, the students are expected to write a manuscript and turn in something like 30 pages a month - no biggie if you know where you're going with the plot-line, but without any ideas whatsoever this could be a problem.  Of course, all this depends on the Award Letter I should be receiving in the mail any day now.  Here's to hoping I can get some kind of financial aid.

I probably shouldn't have written this post because I don't want to raise any expectations.  The idea that other people assume I will write a book and get published someday makes me edgy, if for no other reason than that it's quite possible whatever I write will remain in a zipped document for the remainder of its existence.  I'd much rather you think I lack ambition and talent and then VAVOOM!  I could surprise you!  But you can't hide your dreams, right?  So, if nothing ever comes of this, I'll teach creative writing, open my coffeehouse, and keep writing anyway.  That's Plan B.  Plan C involves an atlas, a sleeping bag, and a VW-Bus festooned in peace signs and somewhat offensive bumper stickers.  But you don't need to know about that one.

My coffeemaker just exploded so if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go lick what's left of my coffee off the countertop.


  1. Haha! That's awesome, Laur. I have to say I completely get that last statement about not wanting to tell anyone when you're working again. I tried to go a really long time without saying anything just so no one would ask me about it. But I'm really glad to hear you've taken that first, vital, page-reviewing step. It's all uphill from here. ;P

  2. Thanks! It is definitely a relief to be done with that bit anyway.

    It's hard not to say anything when that's what consumes your time - you know? Oh, I'm . . . It's a secret. Which only makes them assume something even bigger is up. Or nothing. . . Not sure what's worse.

  3. i love somewhat offensive bumper stickers and vw-buses. please let me sleep in your bus if plan c comes to fruition. i have a super awesome sleeping bag and an atlas, and a few best places city guides.

    gypsy life is agreeable. as long as i have my normal pillow-- i can't bear strange pillows.

  4. Haha okay Ayla. I fully intend to live out Plan C whether Plan A or B actually happen or not. So I'll swing by and pick you up.

  5. I totally agree. I think for a while most of my extended family and church people thought I was never going to amount to anything -- course I haven't exactly proved them wrong yet, but at least now they can let themselves *think* I have big plans and I can go back to writing. ;P

  6. Well said sister suffragette! Actually, (and I know how hard this is to believe, trust me) - I highly doubt whether your family/others have ever thought you wouldn't amount to anything. In the end, I'm fairly certain it's just us projecting our personal fears onto the people around us - or maybe that is the main fear - what if they think I don't amount to anything?

    Have more faith in yourself and your family! (And don't expect me to follow my own advice).

  7. Haha! Thanks, Laur. I'm sure you're right. Though, church people are very often the "so *why* aren't you going to college, again?" types, so I'm not sure I'm reading it into them. :P

    You have faith in yourself, too, missy. You're a natural-born observer of life, writing is just a step after that. ;)

  8. I am on a comment role here!

    I love your writing on your blog! You express so much personality in your words!

    I can relate to this post on so many levels that I'm not sure where to start....

    All of your plans sound fun too...

  9. I'm so happy you can relate! (I think - I sounded a bit frustrated in this post, which I wouldn't want to wish on you, lol).


( hippies always welcome )