How I wrote my first novel while driving 10,580 miles...sorta.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First off, I'm not a professional writer.  I never worked as a copy editor, line editor, or anything that has to do with writing unless you consider my teaching basic grammar skills and ISAT extended response writing to groups of incredibly bored eight year olds.  But this is my story of how I came to write my first novel.

August is always bittersweet in the world of a teacher.  The summer is ending and the impending school year is approaching and usually by the time it rolls around I am ready to head back...sorta.  In all honesty, I'd much rather sit around my house, watch Judge Mathis and eat fancy cupcakes all day, but I'm not independently wealthy, so every August I haul my ass to work.

I work about 15 miles from my home, but if you are at all familiar with Chicago area and its surrounding suburbs you know that equates to about thirty minutes one way on a good day.  Throw in a snow storm, maybe a little traffic, a few stop lights and a gapers block and it quickly turns ugly.  

Three years ago, my husband and I decided to hire a nanny instead of bringing our kids to a babysitter everyday.  Prior to this I would put my oldest in the car and drive with him to the babysitter near my school.  We'd listen to Jim Gill (children's music), I'd chant nursery rhymes  and sing The Wheels on the Bus.  Those were the good times. Then there were those times when he'd scream all the way home because "The Binky" got lost or the white knuckle drives when the snow would be falling so hard I couldn't see two inches in front of my face and the a-hole Chicago drivers would be blowing past me at warp speed. 

Well, this all changed when my aunt couldn't find a job and we hired her as our nanny.  I got the piece of mind that leaving your children with a family member brings and I was about to get sixty plus minutes of uninterrupted-non-Humpty-Dumpty-singing-non-children's-music-listening time to myself.  By now I had two children and riding in the car alone five days a week for an hour a day was like a mini vacation.  So I thought.

It turns out it was quite boring and I learned how old I really am.  Flipping through the radio stations one morning I came across Eddie and JoBo and I smiled inwardly at the memories of my teenage years.  Ahh, the summers I spent eating too much with my two besties, Leah and Kri while listening to Eddie and JoBo on B96.  When I glanced down at the channel I was appalled! I was on what was known as "The Oldies Station" when I was growing up.  How the hell could Eddie and JoBo be on the Oldies Station?  Am I really that old?  The answer...yes.  I quickly turned off the radio and sat in silence.

Silence was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I began to tell a story in my head.  I guess I am far more creative than I thought especially when given sixty minutes of silence. So, this is how I began to write my first novel over the course of 10,580 miles.  

If it sounds like an interesting story... this is just the beginning.  Stay tuned!

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