I hope you are all having a Happy Halloween and for many of my writer friends, it is NaNoWriMo time tomorrow!!
I am so happy you stopped by to say, “Hello.”
So, the short answer to, Where the Hell have I been?
I work in three locations, a part-time job and private practice in two locations. And, what pushed my life into overload was deciding to let my kids do homeschool this year.
I was thinking I would quit my part-time job and all would be well, but I haven’t yet. My scheduled end date is December 15. So, there is hope in the future.
I have missed my peaceful writing time and Twitter life that I had before I started working. I have tried to get writing done here and there. But when the homeschool obligations started, I found myself rushing from one moment to the next, always behind and hopelessly unorganized.
BUT, I held out hope that I could pull it together for NaNoWriMo. And, no matter how little I write (and it may be very little), I will participate. I have no illusions that I will be able to win or maybe not even get halfway, but I like the camaraderie and the chance to reconnect with the project that really got me writing three years ago.
I can already feel my soul relaxing at the thought of having more creative writing time. My kids will participate with me again this year, which helps to feel okay spending time writing if they are too.
I have decided to explore some ideas about Spiritualism movements in the mid to late 19th century through the life of Lena, a young girl with lots of moxie for this time period. I ran across interesting information about the Spiritualism movements when I was working on my NaNo novel last year. These beliefs were well-respected in the middle and upper classes and were followed for many years before the hucksters who fooled people were eventually exposed. But a lot of the beliefs and practices are still a part of our current culture.
I heard about a few camps in Wisconsin and Minnesota that sponsored summer camps for those following Spiritualism. I thought that was fascinating and wanted to follow my characters into this secret world for a look around.
Here are a few of my initial ideas about where I am beginning with my novel:
Lena could feel the excitement as she packed for camp. It was great to be alive near the end of the 19th century. The modern age was fast approaching and she wanted to be a part of it.
She couldn’t wait to begin the long trip up north to Camp Loon, a camp run by the Spiritualists, where famous mediums would speak and demonstrate their power. All the “best” families from Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis would be in attendance this year.
She carefully packed her favorite book, “Communication With the Other Side”, by George, First Baron Lyttelton, published in England in 1760. She loved to read about the notable spirits quoted in this volume. After all, Spiritualism was now a well-accepted practice in their circles. Even Mary Todd Lincoln organized Spiritualist seances in the White House, attended by her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, and other prominent members of society.
Lena had high hopes for this summer at camp. She wanted to contact her mother, who died last year. She was still amazed that her father was willing to go to camp this year, and hopefully he would attend the seance with her and her sisters. Then, maybe he would “believe” too. Then again, he might be coming to spend more time with that dreadful Mrs. Hofsteader, who lost her husband three months ago.
“Never mind that witch, I’ll deal with her,” Lena said out loud as she packed her Ouija board.
Who else is doing NaNo this year? Please comment and tell me about it.
I would love to have more Writing Buddies on the NaNo site. Come on over and join in the fun. You can find me at: Anne Tyler Lord.