Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

I Can Write a Novel (As My Parents Nudge Me From the Other Side)




Can I really write this novel based on my parents? Can I fill in all the gaps using my imagination? Yes! I can. I’ve always had a powerful imagination. But I’ve used it to fantasize (and sometimes catastrophize) visually. Now, I’m putting it to work. When I wrote my memoir, Trust the Timing, I relied on my memory of the facts. I took journalism and technical writing in college. I majored in a science (though they called psychology a “soft science”) denying my creative tendencies, more like squelching them.

Dabbling in fiction, with my recent post, The Postcard from Malaga, about my parents, gave me confidence to get back to the novel about them that I started a couple years ago. Yesterday, when I was working on it, I got lost in their world. The world of two young lovers in 1950 in Washington DC. He’s a marine and she left her abusive husband with her baby daughter (my older sister.) Those are pretty much facts. But I made up stuff about their first date. I do know, because my dad told me, that my mom, who was not yet my mom, called up the barracks asking for some other guy. Jim (that’s my dad) answered the phone and said, “Why do you want to go out with that guy when you can go out with me?” And that’s how their romance started. While making up the details, I became so absorbed in their developing story, that at one point I stood up to stretch (my body knew I needed it) and for a second wondered where I was. It was very cool. Then I got caught/distracted about wanting to research restaurants in Washington DC in 1950 where they might have gone on their first date. That pulled me out of the story, but it was still fascinating because it was about the story.

Anyways, I need to remind myself that I don’t need to research a lot just to pound out this first draft. Yes there will be holes in it, and I’ll want to edit as I go, but they say just keep going, otherwise, this could take way too many years and I’ve not got unlimited years to work with. But I CAN write a first draft. I know I can.

Mom and Dad in 54 in Washington

(Betty and Jim, 1954)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “can” with bonus points for beginning and ending our post with the word, can. Yes, I can do that, too!

For more information, visit our host, Linda at the link below. Linda, I hope you feel better real soon. Take care!

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

31 thoughts on “I Can Write a Novel (As My Parents Nudge Me From the Other Side)

  1. I get absorbed in my writing all the time, good luck with your fascinating story and you can never go wrong with a guy named Jim.

  2. Of course you can do it. I wrote a fictionalised account of my mother’s childhood and published it in September this year. It is doing quite well. It is based on fact and I plugged the holes just as you plan too. Best of luck with this.

  3. Of course you can! 😚🙋

  4. making parents proud
    one page at a time 🙂

  5. If anyone can, it’s you!

  6. They look like an amazing couple. I’m sure you’ll do their story justice xx

  7. You CAN. You should. And you will. They look like a wonderful couple! 🙂 And of course, they are going to be inspiring even if memory doesn’t fill the gaps. It’s a wonderful way of rediscovering your parents. I have always wished to go back in time and befriend my parents as a peer – just to know them without the parental filters. That perspective will be something!

  8. Sounds like an awesome adventure to me. Good luck!

  9. I bet you write a winner so keep at it and don’t let anything get in your way. I once was told by my best blogging pal to never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. Keep that in mind, JoAnna.

  10. Your book sounds amazing. I also am trying to write about my family when when I was young. A lot I can not remember just gets made up but what fun remembering the good stuff.

  11. I love your post – and that you’re writing about your parents before you even knew them. What a beautiful tribute, and a healing way to work through the belongings they left behind. Great job, I look forward to watching you bring the book to life.

  12. Sorry to be catching up so late. That photo can inspire at least a few chapters!

  13. Pingback: Recovering a Sense of Power ~ Week III of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” on Music Monday Care & Love – The Bee Writes…

  14. I’m sure you can. Let your ideas flow and shape the novel. I was so pleased when I finished mine but am still polishing bits while sending off to agents. I thought about this with my parents too. They did live through very interesting times and very dark times. Good luck with it all.

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