I have been working on my second novel on and off for over a year now and just can't seem to get past a certain point. I have great ideas for it, but apparently the story just isn't quite ready to be fully written yet. It has been discouraging, but I am not a writer who is working with solid deadlines, pressure and stress. I am writing for my own benefit and have no interest in attempting to force myself to fill the page with unremarkable words. This (in a very tiny nutshell) is exactly why I never wanted to write exclusively as a career (i.e. journalism, etc). I know myself and I know that forcing writing into a cubbyhole of "work" will make me hate doing it. That doesn't mean I don't use this gift I've been given. Thankfully I am working at a job that allows me to use my experience and God-given gift of writing in new ways.
That being said, this weekend I was hit with another idea for a book. My first memoir-style blend of non-fiction and fiction writing. I have been reading more of this style lately along with other books and I extremely enjoy it, often wondering if I could pull together something similar using my own experiences.
I'm always looking for thoughts and feedback on my ideas. I'm posting the prologue here and welcome your comments. I'm working on an outline this week and am really starting to get excited about this new project!
Make no mistake, this doesn't mean that I am not working on my fiction novel, it just means that (thankfully) it will be shifted to the back burner and I'll pick it up again when I'm ready and when it is ready to be written.
Prologue - First Draft
To this day, the mere mention of the city of Toledo, OH causes a family-wide groan closely followed by near-hysterical laughter. Toledo was the site of one of our most notorious family road trip milestones and by far the most bizarre. I don’t think any of us have returned since that fateful day when disaster struck in overwhelmingly comical forces.
My family grew up, grew together in cars. Some of my most potent childhood memories are of either a) waiting by the side of the road with the family car for a tow truck or b) being crammed into the back of a sedan with my two sisters bickering over who was going to have to sit in the middle seat and sharing a walkman as the scenery rolled by.
Cars are so much more than mere transportation to me, they are the flint that sparks a story, a memory, “remember when we had that green LeBaron? Dad could still catch air in it going over that bump in Old Bowie…” These are the stories that inevitably populate family reunions, holidays and meals as we all grow older, move away and start our own families. These are the stories that make us laugh until we can’t breathe and vow to never again think, “How hard could it be to pee in grass?”
This is the story of my family. Of our cars. Of our outrageous luck, both good and bad and how we have survived decades of bumpy roads, hairpin turns and even a flaming vehicle or two.