Friday, August 13, 2010
So it begins
The title of this post can equally apply to the beginning of this blog and the beginning of writing this novel. If you would've asked me a week ago whether I thought that Michelle & I would be seriously undertaking the task of writing a novel over the next year, I would have said no. As it stands now, my very serious goal (I make no other kind) is to have a completed novel by the time we turn 30. That gives us a little under 2 years. We've been batting around the idea of writing a novel either together or separately for about a year now. We've had a number of ideas. One was for a love story between a woman and a man that visits her in her dreams (based on a dream that I had). One was for a novel about a man belonging to a secret organization a la Dan Brown. One was for a book about vampires because even though they've become very popular in recent years, Michelle has always been interested in them. None of these seemed quite right, though.
Michelle & I have been best friends for 14 years. In fact, as of this summer, we've now been best friends for longer than we haven't. We met in gym class in 9th grade at a high school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and after my mother & I moved to Northern California, Michelle quickly followed and moved with us, finishing high school with me there. Since we've graduated from high school we have only lived in the same state for about 6 months, but we've kept in close contact. We've had our ups and downs (like any important long-term relationship), but I can safely say that she is my person, and lately our relationship has been stronger than ever. Most people go through their life doing anything to find that all powerful romantic love, but true friends are so much more important.
When we were 14 & 15 Michelle & I wrote a two act play called "Fallen Angel" about a high school student who falls in love with a dhampir (a half vampire/half human). Recently while going through some boxes of mementos my mother gave me, I found a copy of the play that I didn't know existed. I figured that I would wait until Michelle visited me last week, and we could read it together. We conducted a dramatic reading of the play, which while utterly ridiculous, wasn't as bad as I was expecting since we were barely teenagers when we wrote it. That got us to talking. Michelle suggested that we could always re-work the play and make it into a novel. I countered that vampires are too overdone, and that we needed to write a book about something different. One idea led to another, and within just a few hours, we had already sketched out the major story arc of not just one book, but what could easily become a 3-5 book series. Over the next two days we wrote summaries of each chapter of the first book in the series (title not yet determined -- I just realized that the original title we had in mind has already been taken...arg!). As currently outlined, the book is 26 chapters long, plus it will have a prologue and a fairly extensive author's note regarding what is historical fact versus what is fiction.
I am very excited about this. In fact, it's sort of a problem, because I had been very excited about starting my Social Psychology PhD program after my brief (and painful) jaunt as an attorney, but now all I want to do is research the topics in our book. Thinking of that, can you imagine the blurb on the back of any novel of mine: "Lawyer turned Psychologist turned Novelist: Katherine Ernst enjoys arguing, making up, and then writing about it." Ridiculous. Plus, I need to make sure that I don't neglect Max. Speaking of Max, I have to go because I *have* been neglecting him for the last 2 weeks while spending (the absolute best) time with Michelle, and I need to go get ready for Sushi Friday.