Today is the last of four posts dedicated to the characters of “The Abassi Expedition” my WIP. This all started with the Next Big Thing Blog Hop that was passed on to me by Elizabeth MacAndrew. After that, I felt the need to share a little bit about my main characters: Alice, William, and Morris. I was debating on who I should focus on today and I decided that it should be me!
First, some information about the future of this blog. December is all about the books I’ve read this year. I had a goal of 100 books and I’ve read about 70 so far, so I’m going to share what I thought of all of them. Please stay tuned and check it out! January is going to be dedicated to revision both in the blog and my WIP. I am wrapping up the last part of my WIP, so revisions are on the horizon, check in to figure out how I work through 90,000 words!
Okay, SO let’s get on with this blog post all about yours truly. Those who know me off the interwebs know I’m quite verbose and don’t mind talking about myself. I suck at writing about me, so stick with me.
I picked me as a character focus because I’m just as big a player as Alice, William, and Morris because I make the decisions of what’s going to happen, how they’re going to react, how they’re going to change. Being a writer is about letting the characters become their own people but the Alice I create isn’t the Alice YOU would create because we’re two different people. SO to understand all of that goes into the Abassi Expedition, Alice, William, and Morris, you have to know me.
I have an education in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. I loved my education. It was amazing. I worked with some AMAZING writers and learned much more than I really anticipated when I checked off “Writing” as my major on my applications. After that, though, I let my writing fizzle. I got caught up in trying to pay bills and be an A-D-U-L-T (that’s a dirty word that we don’t say). I met my husband while figuring out my future. We got married after he joined the Air Force and I decided to go back to school to be a teacher. We got stationed at Tinker Afb, OK and I applied to Oklahoma University. I’ve been in the education program for about a year and a half. That leads to when I started writing my novel.
Through another friend, I met Sabrina A Fish. Over wine and board games, we discussed her WIP. A few weeks later, Sabrina sent me a draft. I read it. The story: impeccable. I fell in love with it. But it needed work, so together we started an offensive on the writing and she’s making great strides. But that left me feeling… inspired, lazy, and humbled. Inspired because every editing session (involving me making about 20-30 comments per page of her work) left me wanting to work on my own work! Lazy because I thought, I’ve always said I wanted to do this and here is someone else who’s an “amateur” (I have a superiority complex about writing sometimes) doing it (and please know, Sabrina is not an amateur, she was just fresh). And humbled because Sabrina has this amazing way of being so supportive but not enough to make me cocky (which if you didn’t notice about the superiority complex I have a problem with).
So one day, like I said on the Next Big Thing Blog Post, a random scene was written. I fell in love with the scene and decided, with Sabrina’s help on the plot, I’d make a novel out of it. So we set to work molding the plot so that something actually happened (what can I say? I’m a trained Modernist) and then I started writing. Then I got busy with school and life and so a year later I only had about 13k written. That put us to about September when I decided to use this WIP as my thesis. So I set about with the goal of writing 500 words a day. That became 1000 in October. Then ~1700 in November. And now here we are, at the end of NaNoWriMo and my WIP is 75,000 words long. So in about 2 months I wrote 62k. I still have about 15k to go to finish it up.
But there’s more to the story than that. That’s not who I am. While I worked on my novel, I also interned at a local high school in order to work towards my teaching certification. So, I was stressed to high heavens because I was working 40+ hours teaching and planning and grading and then working on my novel and working on my certification portfolio and working on a research essay. It’s been a whirlwind of work, to say the least.
I’ve gone through a lot of emotions which have helped to guide my characters and will continue to affect my characters. I’ve been working with teenagers and trying to figure out how to make my characters more believable because of that. I’ve learned that I might not want to be a teacher. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to write YA. In fact, quite the opposite because like my husband said, “You can still make a difference in the world with your writing.” (Yes, he is a gem).
So because of the above realization and just life, Wednesday was kind of a crap day. Thursday, my husband and I woke up with our Miniature Schnauzer laying with us, snorting like a pig, and wiggling about, we decided to get a puppy. I’m going to stop talking about myself so you can just look at the pictures: