This year I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, it means National Novel Writing Month. What that means is this. Each participant must try and write a 50,000-word novel by midnight on November 30, 2008. That equals out to about a175-page novel by the end of the month. Yes, that’s a lot of writing to do. It’s quite the daunting task.
This is not my first crack at writing a novel. However, it’s my first crack at NaNo. I’ve written novels in the past, but it’s been quite some time.
Writing has always been an important part of my life, but I set it aside for awhile when I found myself pregnant with my son. I was horribly sick and had little energy. We also moved into a new house during my pregnancy. Because of all the changes, my love for writing just kept being pushed further and further under the rug, where it collected dust. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever get back into it again.
Now I’m not saying I didn’t write anything. I did. In fact, I wrote several small article pieces for a friend’s website. I also wrote several editorial-style pieces on David Cook while he was on American Idol. I also worked for Mahalo.com, which involved a great deal of writing. But none of these things had to do with writing a novel. They were more like exercises for me to flex my writing muscle.
A month ago, I started noticing my coworkers from Mahalo talking about NaNo. I was instantly intrigued. I checked out the website and told myself, “you know what, I can do this.” I knew it had been awhile since I had tried to, but that didn’t matter. It’s like having a new baby five years after your first one. You think you’ve forgotten how to take care of a newborn, but you find as soon as you hold it in your arms for the first time, it all comes rushing back in a flood.
Since starting my current work-in-progress, it has seen so many changes that it’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded. I originally started out with the idea that my story would take place in
I also started the book out in a third person point of view, but just last night I realized that the story would be more affective if I changed it to a first person POV. Am I crazy? Maybe so, but it felt like the correct decision to make.
What do both of these changes mean? Essentially, December is going to involve a great deal of rewriting and filling in of gaps. Am I up to the challenge? Let’s put it this way, in the words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”
I can say this, out of everything I’ve ever written, this story has filled me with such an immense amount of pride. Maybe it’s because it’s such a monumental task to reach the 50,000-word goal when you have other things going on in your life. Maybe it’s because I was on hiatus for so long. Or maybe it’s because I’ve connected with the characters in my story so much that they truly have taken on a life of their own. Or finally, maybe it’s because this story feels like THE ONE. You know, the one that finally ends up published.
Whatever the case may be, I’m so happy that I took the time to participate in NaNoWriMo. Whether or not I hit the 50,000 word mark by November 30, it won’t matter because I already feel like such a success for getting this far.
Before closing, I have to give a special thanks to two people.
Jackie – You have been such an amazing friend to me over the past few years. You have been a great support and the ultimate cheerleader. You’ve pushed me along and helped me to become a much more confident person. I can’t imagine a better best friend than you. Yes, we are separated by many miles, but you’re always in my heart, offering me the guidance that I need. Thank you for that.
Jenny – I know we’ve worked together at Mahalo for quite some time, but it wasn’t until very recently that we started talking. I’m a firm believer that people come into your lives at a specific time for specific reasons. I know you came into mine exactly when you were supposed to. In you, I’ve found a kindred spirit. One who doesn’t think I’m a complete head case when I’m being indecisive about my writing. In the short time I’ve known you, you’ve already taught me so much and I thank you for that. It means so much to me.
Not that long ago, my friend Jenny blogged about the music she listens to while writing. I, too, listen to music when I’m working. I tend to listen to music that has a common theme and could be used as a soundtrack to the story that I’m creating. I don’t stick within the confines of one genre. It tends to be spread out and all encompassing.
Currently, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo. As I sit down and write each day, or at least attempt to, I turn on my music player and let the music carry me along, transforming my thoughts and feelings into coherent ideas that I can put on paper or computer screen. Sometimes it provides me with additional inspiration that I need in order to follow through with an epiphany that I’ve had.
Here’s a partial track list for my current work-in-progress. American Idol fans will undoubtedly notice that a vast majority of the songs are ones recorded by Idol contestants.
1-You Redeem Me – Ace Young
2-Hard Hand to Hold – Ace Young
3-A Daily AntheM – David Cook
4-Light On – David Cook
5-Never Think – Rob Pattinson
6-I Wanna Grow Old With You – Westlife
7-Obvious – Westlife
8-I Did it For You – Westlife
9-In This Life – Collin Raye and Westlife
10-Wait For You – Elliot Yamin
11-Avalanche – David Cook
12-Crush – David Archuleta
13-Permanent – David Cook
14-Du Hast – Rammstein
15-I’d Lie For You (And That’s the Truth) – Meatloaf
16-The Girl That Got Away – Ace Young
17-Take My Breath Away – Berlin
18-Stare at You – NKOTB
19-(Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
20-One More Day – Diamond Rio
21-Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen
22-Your Man – Josh Turner
23-Better in Time – Leona Lewis
24-Faithfully – Journey
25-What Might Have Been – Little Texas
26-Amazed – Lonestar
27-Angel Eyes – The Jeff Healey Band
28-Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
29-The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
30-This Woman Needs – SheDAISY
31-You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
32-Queen of My Heart – Westlife
33-Unbreakable – Westlife
34-Music of the Night – Phantom of the Opera soundtrack
I’ve been following the story of the murder of Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother, along with the subsequent disappearance of her nephew. Today, a body of a young boy believed to be Julian King was found. An official ID has not been made, but the FBI are saying that the body is that of Julian King. Jennifer Hudson was reported to be en route to the coroner’s office to make a positive ID.
As the day has progressed, further details have been released about the body that was discovered. Every new piece of information just turns my stomach more. What did this little boy do to deserve such a fate? Regardless of whether or not it’s actually Julian, what child deserves that? NONE! It’s not fair that this poor child had to go through such an ordeal. The pain his family is feeling is beyond belief.
UPDATE: As I write this, a press conference is now being held regarding the body. It has been confirmed that the body is that of Julian King.
I’m just heartsick over this news. Every time I hear news about a child that is missing or murdered, it makes me ill. I start thinking about how I would handle if it was one of my children involved.
I am beyond words right now.
As most of my friends know, teen suicide prevention, and suicide prevention in general, is extremely important to me. When an opportunity arises for me to address this issue, and to possibly make a difference in someone’s life, I take it. Below you will find a message from a good friend of mine who dealt with a very tragic loss a year ago. Please take the time to read his message, along with his mother’s. It just may make a difference in your life or someone else’s.
If you are reading this blog post and are having suicidal thoughts, please visit SuicideHotlines.com to find help in your area. Please remember, you’re never alone. I know at times it may feel that way, but there are people out there who do love and care about you, you just need to let them in. Please, don’t think that suicide is the only way out.
IF YOU KNEW KENNY OR KNEW HIM THRU ME,THEN TAKE A SECOND OUT OF YOUR DAY TO THINK ABOUT HIM OR POUR A DRINK OUT FOR HIM OR BLOW ONE IN THE AIR FOR HIM OR PLAY HIS FAVORITE SONG.
THE WORLD AIN’T THE SAME WITHOUT YOU BRO! WE MISS AND LOVE YOU!
THIS IS A LETTER THAT MY MOM WROTE AND SENT TO ME TO ASK ME TO SEND OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS I CAN. I WANTED TO WAIT UNTIL TODAY TO SEND THIS. THIS WORLD IS CRAZY SOMETIMES A FEW MONTHS AGO MY I ALMOST LOST MY MOM AND MY NEPHEW ONE OF KENNY‘S SONS IN A FIRE. I DON’T KNOW HOW I WOULD HAVE DELT WITH THAT BEING THAT I LOST MY DAD IN A FIRE TOO IN 1996.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY THAT’S BEEN BY MY SIDE TO HELP HOLD ME UP THIS PAST YEAR. THERE HASN’T BEEN ONE DAY THAT I HAVEN‘T THOUGHT ABOUT KENNY.
HERE IS MY MOTHER’S LETTER:
Message From a Mother’s Broken Heart
This letter took me one year to write. I believed and hoped that with time it would be easier to write, but one year ago I lost my son and I have to say it’s not any easier to write now than when it happened. I have so much to say, to tell the world about a young man, who had so much to live for, but who didn’t know how to forgive himself and he felt escaping life was the only way he could tell everyone how sorry he was.
What I want to say to everyone who will take the time to read my message is; don’t take for granted that your loved one will always be here. It doesn’t matter if you have a disagreement with the person you love. It’s o.k. to be angry at them, but make sure you also let them know I STILL LOVE YOU, because we all make mistakes.
I just want to tell you a little about my story; the main message of my story is to TREAT others the way you would want to be TREATED, in everything you do in life. Kenneth, my son shot himself in the chest and died in his car in my arms because he couldn’t forgive himself. All the reasons behind this is another story for another time. When the ambulance got there, they asked me to step out of the car, and they spent all of 2 minutes with my son. They got out of his car, took their plastic gloves off and proceeded to go back to their truck. I’d like to mention it wasn’t an obvious thing what had happen; when I got there I didn’t realize what had happened for several minutes. I started yelling to them,” please Mister, please help my son”, to that I received no answer, “please Mr. please don’t walk away”. For I saw them do nothing, they didn’t get any reviving machines or equipment out of their truck to try to revive my son, they spent all of 2 minutes in the car with him and walked away, “Please Mr. please help my son!” but there was no help for my son. I wasn’t allowed to go back in the car to hold him one last time. I waited outside the car crying for over 2 hours looking at my son, still hoping and praying desperately for a miracle to happen and to see some kind of movement from him. I kept asking everybody, please try to help him, please don’t give up, but no one tried. I waited for the police to come to declare a crime scene. I watched as my son’s body lay in his car for over 2 hours, until the coroner came to officially declare him, dead. I cried, angry at them, angry at God, angry at myself, how can this be happening, how can this be real. I just saw him earlier that evening dropping his kids off and when I asked him, where he was going, he said to me “mom I’ll be right back”, little could I have known those would be the last words I would ever hear from him. My son was 6’1” tall, a body builder in perfect health and one of the most handsome men ever. When the police arrived they showed a little more compassion and called the Chaplin, who tried to be as helpful as she could, comforting my daughter-in-law and me.
The scenario goes on till they took my son out of his car almost 3 hours later and I was then allowed to kiss him and say my last good bye to him.
There is a point to my story, it is much more than just telling you how my son died, it wasn’t until I had to experience such horror that the reality of how we as people, treat each other became very real to me. The moral of my story is to treat people the way you would want to be treated in everything you do in this life. We all deserve that, no one should be treated less because you never know when one day it may be your child or loved one.
This part I know may read as if I’m trying to place blame but that is not what I’m doing, just please continue to read and try to follow what I’m trying to say to you.
My son sat in his car in a parking lot, at a place, which is said to have 24-hour security and surveillance. A place where you are suppose to have a parking permit to park there, yet he had no parking permit and no one ever approached him to ask him what was he doing there, or to move his car. He just got to sit in his car and decide that the world was better off without him. What if the security personnel really did their job that day, I may not be writing this story.
I can’t help but think, what if this had happened to one of the ambulance people’s child or loved one, I wonder if they would have spent only 2 minutes trying to revive him. I can’t believe that they wouldn’t have tired everything possible to try to revive him before giving up so soon.
What if it were your son?
We were told by coroner’s office that because they were told it was a suicide they did not feel the need to perform a detailed autopsy report. Wouldn’t you want to know every detail and not hear a bunch of assumptions if it were your child? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that there was no foul play involved in his death? I say just do your job to its best each and every time; treat every case you get as if it were your loved one.
Weeks later I tried to get the police report, and to get my son’s belonging from the coroner, which I am sad to say I was never able to get. I was told to hire a lawyer to get a subpoena in order to get the police report. The coroner said they didn’t have his belongings, no one knew where his things were. After going to the different places to get my son’s belongings and the police report it finally became apparent to me I wasn’t going to get these things and I finally gave up.
What if this was your child, how would you feel?
Aside from all of these things I know I’m suppose to just grieve and get over it, but really what if this happened to you and it was your child, wouldn’t you want everything possible to be done in each and every situation? Why then should I have to be satisfied with the poor uncaring way that my son was treated as well as my family?
Kenneth Fredrick Fuller was an extremely important person in our lives and we shall never forget him. I wish no one has to experience the cold, uncaring treatment my family and I have had to endure.
It’s been a year and I have to get this message out, the message is to – TREAT OTHERS LIKE YOU WOULD WANT AND EXPECT TO BE TREATED, IN EVERYTHING YOU DO IN THIS LIFE. Do your best or don’t do it at all. And if you are a person who feels as my Kenny did, that the world is better off without you, please, please know that you make a difference in someone’s life. Yes you make mistakes and yes you may feel no one will even miss you or notice that you are gone, but it’s a lie.
Someone will notice and you not being here will change someone’s entire world, there is a reason you are here, please find that reason, take it from me and my entire family – you will be missed! I now know the answer to the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer is YES!
Kenneth Fredrick Fuller
March 20, 1976 – October 6, 2007
My son, I wish you understood, you were not a mess up, you just made mistakes like all of us do. The world isn’t a better place without you, you have left a very large empty hole in the world and in our hearts, a hole that no one will ever be able to fill. You thought everyone would be better off without you, you were wrong, we will NEVER be better off without you, you are and always will be apart of us. You were a GREAT man to us, yes you made mistakes, yes you were not perfect, but neither are we. You were the best son a mother could ever have; you were also a loved brother, husband, father, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. It may have been a year ago, but to us, it was yesterday.
Kenneth, May You Find peace