A Mother Can Dream

My deepest apologies! I am 34 hits over 2,000 and have yet to upload the opening chapter of Becoming Mrs. Kennedy. I hurl all blame away from myself to heartily thrust it on Fairfield University and professors who require both final papers and exams. One or the other I could handle, but both? Come on, now you’re just being mean. Pick one. Hats off to professors who are able to make up their minds.

Anyway, in a few moments I will, as promised, post the first chapter of my novel. This book and I have been through quite a bit. I gave birth to her about half way through senior year of high school (so that puts us at approximately February of ’08) because of an inspiration to write about a soldier and the need to get over a guy. Let me tell you, ladies (and I suppose it could work in reverse for gentlemen as well) there is no better way to get a man out of your mind than making him a hero of one of your stories and then finishing that project. Because once you finish it, it is done! Then you are quite literally done with him! This strategy has come through for me now on two occasions. *Note to self, do not write about the, we’ll call him interest, you have now lest it makes things go awry.* What, did I say that? Of course not, that would be getting my hopes up …

ANYWAY, I completed the first draft around May of ’08, and then edited it a bit in between spurts of unsuccessful queries to agents. It didn’t disappoint me too much, for I had much on my mind with college and moving out, etc. Plus by then the idea for Damn Brits would not leave me alone, so I had Julian on the brain rather than Derek (all names have been changed so as to not resemble flesh and blood people). I was still proud of BMK, I only decided to put it down for a little nap like a good mother would for her over-tired toddler.

Two years later, I pick up the damn thing to edit it and give it another shot in the publishing world, and nearly go into the bathroom to hang myself. I thought this writing was good?!?!? I thought this would get me published!?!? No wonder agents rejected me! No wonder my mother lied about finishing it. It was awful!!! This was how I wrote? I would never be a published novelist if this was the way my writing took shape!

Following a few days of self-pity and despair, Ralph gave me a good kick in the ass (unrelated to writing, but quite related to other life experiences) that basically hammered home the realization that I had to give it another go. My precious toddler had grown into a gangly, pimply teenager who just needed some tlc and a giant makeover. Snuggling up in a comfy chair in the library armed with a notebook, highlighters, stikie notes, post-its, pencils, pens, and a Sharpie, I began construction. I excavated the entire first chapter, laying a new foundation in the form of a much better one, and remodeled all of the interior design by scrapping my “See June run” (little tribute to June Hur there) sentences for better craft.

So now here it is. It is what it is. I’m still uncertain of whether to pitch it as a YA novel or an adult novel. The first chapter begins in college, but the rest of it is post college/adult life … I’m not sure. Your thoughts would be welcome!

I do hope you enjoy it (warning gentlemen, it is girly) and let me know what you think. Please be honest, I’m a big girl and I can take it. I come from Irish heritage; the world has been crapping on us for centuries, therefore we have thick skins. I will gratefully take all constructive comments. This is my baby, and I want her to be the best she can be before I send her off into the world to fend for herself among the turbulent sea of publishers. Hopefully there she will then find her soul-mate, a publishing contract, and then the two of them can ride off into the sunset to blissfully reside in their lovely house on Bookstore Street waiting to hear of the birth of her little sister, The Second Novel. Or so a mother can dream.

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About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at http://missrosemary.net or contact her at MissRosemarysNovelIdeas@gmail.com with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

14 responses to “A Mother Can Dream

  • highheelsandslippers

    Hi – just editing a bit of “Josie” and you blog came in – really enjoyed it – looking forward to reading your first chapter! Ella (or Josie Jenkins depending how you look at it!)

  • Lua

    That’s funny, I wrote my first story ever back in senior year in highs school and it was after a crush-gone-bad 🙂
    And now I can’t even make it to second paragraph, there is no way that I can read something THAT BAD- it is just plain awful!!! And I feel sorry for the people who had to read it when I first wrote the story and though it was a masterpiece haha!
    And now about the story… WOW!!! First of all, you my friends have some serious dialogue talent! I knew this from your short stories but with this story now I’m just jealous! 🙂
    Second of all, when it ended I literally cried out “Nooo!” so that must be a good sign- I’m dying to read more! (And you made me miss my collage years when I was too intoxicated to recognize people- good times!) One of my favorite things (besides the heroic, handsome soldier) was how she thought “this can not be my room, it’s too tidy” ! Sounded too familiar 🙂
    Overall it was fantastic my friend, well done and I can’t wait for the day I pick it up from the bookstore and read the whole thing at once!

    • Aspiring Novelist

      Thank you Lua! It’s funny how at the end of the semester I couldn’t wait to be home but now that I am I miss college …. sigh. The grass is always greener.
      Glad to see you can recognize me from my messy habits 🙂 Currently I’m procrastinating putting away all my crap from college that is sitting in a mountainous heap just glaring at me … much like my father in the doorway telling me to get off the computer. I just can’t win.
      I’m overjoyed beyond belief that you enjoyed it, all you need is one person to give you a vote of confidence. Also, I may give you other snippets of the manuscript when I see you in September!!! As long as you return the favor of course 😉

      • Lua

        My mum always asks me how I’m able to find anything in my room, I just roll my eyes and say ‘it’s a writer’s thing’ 😉
        I really REALLY liked it- it just grabs you from the beginning and flows so beautifully. Swapping manuscripts?! Sounds amazing, now I just have to hold on for 4 months to find out what happens after their date 🙂

  • Barb

    “Two years later, I pick up the damn thing to edit it and give it another shot in the publishing world, and nearly go into the bathroom to hang myself. I thought this writing was good?!?!? I thought this would get me published!?!? No wonder agents rejected me! No wonder my mother lied about finishing it. It was awful!!! This was how I wrote? I would never be a published novelist if this was the way my writing took shape!”
    I know EXACTLY what you mean. Glad that Ralph kicked you back to the writing board (although, if you had asked us, we’d have kicked you too! ;-)) The question is: how long should you stay away from you babies to see them with fresh eyes? You found out – and so did I. And that’s why I haven’t started querying yet, sigh (also because it seems I’ve found a Beta-reader who is really helping – but that’s more work to do on that manuscript. Except it’s a kind of work I love, and wish I could live from it. One day.)
    Happy rewriting! 😀

    • Aspiring Novelist

      Thanks Barb, the same goes to you! I think writers are never truly satisfied. I bet published authors even read some of their printed books and think, “well what if I did it THIS way” or “that’s not the word I wanted!!” We’re tough cookies, we writers. Don’t stay away from you baby too long, she’ll think you’ve abandoned her!!

      • Barb

        Nah, I always go back to my babies, sooner or later, love them too much! 😉 Even the ones confined to the drawer because they’re not fit enough to go into the world…
        Read your beginning in the meantime (have to print out stuff, can’t read on screen, not enjoyable enough for me, hehe!)… keep going, it was very interesting! 🙂
        Happy writing!

  • junebugger

    “there is no better way to get a man out of your mind than making him a hero of one of your stories and then finishing that project”

    ..My head nearly fell off because I was nodding it so furiously. You are VERY right. I think that’s why i write best when I have a crush on a guy. All the romance I imagine in my mind that I know might not occur in reality transcribes into words. Even when in a relationship it isn’t as romantic as one would have imagined it to be.

    I hope to see an excerpt of your story up VERY SOON

    • Aspiring Novelist

      Foolproof system my friend! It’s like Lysol, cleans away all the germs. Bahaha!
      And the page is up! Click the BMK tab at the top of the site, I may have to find a new theme to make it appear in a neater fashion, it looks kind of scrunched right now … after work.

  • ollinmorales

    Yay! Excited about your story. It’ll be just like ripping off a band-aid all at once. Painful for a second… and then relief. 🙂

  • Hema P.

    Interesting that you compare yourself to a mother and your revised book to a toddler — so, it’s a universal emotion, I see (but those of us who have real children have to be careful how we word our feelings in that respect, lest we offend our flesh-and-blood offspring, who can actually talk back :-)).

    I’m so excited for you that you are done revising! Can’t wait to read the first chapter!

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