Things that are making me happy today —
The smell of freshly-mowed grass.
SPRING! (it’s here, people!)
And of course . . . writing anniversaries!
April 5th, 2012, was a special day for me…
On that day, two years ago now, I embarked on a new adventure that took me places I could never have imagined. On that day, I wrote the first words of my contemporary fantasy novel, “The Owl of Kedran’s Wood”.
Summary: Sinister creatures called Wildlings are lurking in the woods by a small town and the members of the local Chess Club take it upon themselves to do something about it. But that is before the arrival of shape-shifting Wildlings who can look like humans, and the sudden appearance of a shady character in a black leather jacket, calling himself Tare. The Chess Club are caught up in a swirl of dark mystery and must find the answers to the secrets of Tare and the Wildlings — before it is too late.
I had never written anything modern before, so it was a totally new thing for me, and on top of that I had not much of an idea of where it was going — I was mostly “pantsing” it, and I’m a plotter by nature. So that made two different things. It was a weird experiment, and I figured it would be a fun little story that I would write in a few months, finish, and move back to my previous projects.
Boy was I wrong.
It quickly took over and consumed my writing life.
Funny how books do that to us writers, isn’t it? 😉
I had a blast with the story — which is an odd combination of scary adventure and lighthearted humor — and fell in love with the characters. Timid Lavender, fiery Ivy, placid Mr. Larch, hilarious Baz, strong but laid-back Adrian, and adorable fluffy white puppy Small Occasion. And of course the dark, mysterious, all-important black-leather-clad Tare.
Six months later, I was nearly 80 thousand words in and took a break for NaNo… Just short of a year after starting it, I wrote “The End” on that monster of a 105,000 word novel. At a year and a half after starting, I had finished editing it. And last month, just short of two years later, I started writing the sequel. I have just finally admitted — as of yesterday — that it is NOT going to be a mini-adventure-novella, but rather a full-fledged novel.
I’m now planning a trilogy and am extremely excited about it.
Who would have thought that such a small step of starting a random story, would set me off on such a marvelous journey? That the characters would thus entwine themselves so deep in my heart? They have to be one of my favorite casts to write about. “The Owl of Kedran’s Wood” was going to be a standalone novel. But I just loved the characters too much to let them go and by the time I had finished it, I knew I would be returning for more adventures with them.
AND, to mark the anniversary of the first book, last night I finally started Camp NaNo, picking up where I left off a month ago on chapter one of book 2 in the Kedran’s Wood Trilogy, “Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood”. There’s an excerpt here if anyone’s interested… Hopefully many more fun words await!
But! I won’t be much of a writer if I don’t stop scribbling this blog post and get back to my Camp writing! So cheerio for now. 🙂