I am happy to be participating in a blog hop called, “My Next Big Thing.” I was tagged by fellow blogger and writer, June O’Hara, of The Nuerosis Files and asked to answer ten questions about my most recent writing project.
Here are my responses:
1. What is the working title of your book or project?
On The Pole
2. Where did the idea come from for the book or project?
I suppose life, in general.
3. What genre does it fall under, if any?
It’s a fictional story, inspired by true events.
4. If applicable, whom would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
I would love Christina Hendricks, Amy Adams, Isla Fisher, Kelly Monaco, and Vanessa Marcil to portray some of the women.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your manuscript or project?
I never participate in any memes without breaking the rules so here goes.
I usually joke about this answer.
Random Person: What’s your book about?
Meleah: A young girl’s strange and erotic journey from Milan to Minsk. The lead characters name is Rochelle, Rochelle.
Random Person: Really?
Meleah: No. It’s just a coffee table book, about coffee tables.
* Because, I would be nothing without my endless references to Seinfeld.
But in reality?
My book is an old story, really.
Good versus Evil. Right versus Wrong. Dark versus Light.
Oh, and there are: Strippers. Sex. Drugs. Rock N’ Roll.
6. Will your book or story be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would much rather prefer to be represented by an agency.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
** I’ve written about my process before. But I believe it’s worth revisiting. So I am reposting it for those whom may have missed it the first time around.
Once upon a time there live a girl named, Meleah. And in 2007, she decided to write a novel. In fact, her thoughts and ideas surrounding that novel kept her awake at night. Except that Meleah really didn’t know how to write a novel, mostly because she attended a very strange boarding school that didn’t exactly focus on education as much as it did cruel and unusual punishment. But that didn’t stop her from trying anyway.
She stayed up countless nights, diligently pecking away at they keyboard, emotionally vomiting on paper. Word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, thoughts and ideas flowed, for days, and weeks, and months.
But then she got sick.
And then she got sicker.
And in 2008 Meleah’s world came to a sudden halt.
And so did her novel.
In 2009, Meleah toyed with the idea of returning to her novel, mostly because after blogging for three years, and she had a much better grasp on the written word. She had made friends with fellow writers and one person in particular was kind enough to steer Meleah in the right direction. And then she learned how to use the comma, properly. Along with other valuable tools like correct spelling, and spacing, and other necessary punctuation; all of which are basic skills Meleah never learned in high school.
Once again, she stayed up countless nights, diligently pecking away at they keyboard, emotionally vomiting on paper, rewriting and re-editing everything she has previously written. Word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, thoughts and ideas flowed, for days, and weeks, and months.
But then she got sick.
And then she got sicker.
And by the end of 2009 Meleah’s world came to a sudden halt, again.
And so did her novel.
For nearly two years, Meleah’s novel stayed locked in a box, collecting dust, underneath her perfectly made bed. She never looked it. And she certainly never talked about it. She was ready to chalk it up as one of her greatest failures. She even considered burning it.
But as much as she wanted to forget all about her book, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Especially when the character voices screamed inside of her head. And plot twists plagued her dreams. However, when people asked about her book or how it was coming along, she would cringe at the very notion of ever returning to it.
So she came up with all kinds of excuses, and even some logical reasons, in order to avoid working on her novel, mostly because she knew just how much work it entailed, and just how difficult it would be.
And then one day in 2011, her grandfather, scolded Meleah.
“Stop being so hard on your self!” Poppa Sye shouted, after listening to her bash another piece of writing. And then he proceeded to remind Meleah, “It’s never the story you tell, it’s how you tell the story.” And then he said something she will never forget, “You, my dear, made writing about the lack of toilet paper an interesting read. The only thing holding you back is you. So get off your behind, quit playing games, and get back to writing. Will ya?”
And that very conversation, gave Meleah the inspiration, she very much needed.
Once again, Meleah stayed up countless nights, diligently pecking away at they keyboard, emotionally vomiting on paper. Word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, thoughts and ideas flowed, for days, and weeks, and months.
And right before Poppa Sye passed away, Meleah promised him that she would finish her novel, no matter what.
In 2012, Meleah wrote with more passion and more dedication than ever before. She finally got real. And she finally got serious. And nothing could stand in her way. In fact, with the help of someone incredible, also known as MWJ she managed to make extraordinary strides and character developments beyond her wildest dreams. And she never felt happier, or more at peace, simply because she fully embraced her calling in life.
And once again, Meleah stayed up countless nights, diligently pecking away at they keyboard, but this time, she wasn’t emotionally vomiting on paper. Oh, no. This time she wrote with a genuine purpose. And she had a very clear direction.
Word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, thoughts and ideas flowed, with an unstoppable force, only furthering her determination.
And this went on for 39 weeks.
But then the summer arrived.
And Meleah got caught up in all of the fun.
And she didn’t make any time for her novel.
Or her blog.
And then she beat herself up for letting everything fall to the wayside.
But just when she was ready to get her act together…
She got sick in September.
And then she got even sicker.
And then she went for some new tests.
And she had to make all kinds of appointments with all kinds of new specialists.
And even though she should be used to all of this medical nonsense, it still totally freaked her out. And then she dabbled with adventures in depression for the entire month of December, before she was forced to spend three days in the hospital from a severe Crohn’s attack.
With the new year beginning, Meleah has come to accept whatever will be will be, with respects to her health issues. Mostly because there’s not a whole lot she can do about it.
She has also learned the writing process is a very slow and very painful one. In fact, it’s probably one of the toughest jobs on the face of the earth. Meleah used to be extremely embarrassed about the progress of her novel, because while everyone else in blogville seems to be pumping out books, she isn’t even close to finishing hers. But that’s okay. Because nothing worthwhile has ever come easy.
And Meleah is learning it’s very important not to judge herself anymore. Everyone has different methods. And everyone gets different results.
Meleah is currently back on track and she’s even feeling somewhat healthier.
She has a routine, and a schedule, and everything is falling into place.
And, Meleah doesn’t care if she gets sick, or if she gets sicker, again.
She’s not coming up with excuses, again.
She’s not letting self-doubt trick her, again.
And she’s not giving up on her novel, again.
Besides, those darn characters are keeping her up at night, again.
** So…. to answer the original question, it has taken SIX years to get where I am today. But I consider 2012 as the only year I was ever truly serious about writing my novel and armed with enough education to follow it through. And you can bet your ass when I am not here blogging very often in 2013, it’s because I’m too busy working on my novel.
8. What other book or stories would you compare this story to within the genre?
A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
[In my humble opinion whether his book was true, or full of lies, it was still one hellova good read.]
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book or story?
My family. But mostly my mother, Pam. And my grandfather, Poppa Sye.
10. What else about the book or story might pique the reader’s interest?
According to my mother, the sex scenes!
I am tagging the following writers who are under no obligation to participate.
And that’s a wrap, people!
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds