Leapy Day

Today is a leapy sort of day. I typed the final words of my first draft! Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Of course, the whole thing is in desperate need of a bath, shave, manicure, pedicure, floss, brush, trim and Macy’s gift card, but the bones are there! Every single bone!

The closest I’ve ever gotten to this was 9th grade, where I spent the whole year writing a Novel. I had an English text that walked me through outlining, character development, conflict, climax, the whole shebang. For some reason, however, I never finished the last chapter of that story. Somewhere among my files are eleven of twelve Sylvia’s Journal chapters, destined to eternal obscurity.

The Jonah Bottle has been knocking around in my brain, under several names, since 2005, way back when I still kept a journal. I found this written on August 4th of that year: “My book ideas are shaping up … I’ve chosen names. Perhaps I’ll keep them, perhaps not. Donald, Lily and Frank Touser. Can’t tell if I like them or abhor them.”

2005 is where the brook and river met for me. I began to think less of writing Literature, more of writing stories for the enjoyment of myself and my siblings. I wrote this that August, too: “Jeanne Birdsall, the one who recommended Edward Eager, said, “I promised myself … that I’d become a writer someday, to give readers like me a few more books to discover and enjoy.” The question of the century: Strive after Art? Or be content to give readers a few more books to discover and enjoy.

From time to time I’ve begun stories for the kids, with the above quote as my guiding light. Think Nesbit, Eager, Enright. But can I be content with that? Or will the thirst for Utopia persist?”

Okay, I was a pretentious something or other. Too much Emily of New Moon at a young age. But the point is, I made the choice, I finished a story I’ve been brewing for two and a half years, and I enjoyed every tortuous minute. I am content.

Let the editing begin!


Marie DeVries said...

three cheers for Noel!!

I'm so proud!! So, this no reading week /really/ helped, huh?

Janet Rubin said...

The whole first draft?????!!!!! (yes, that calls for punctuation abuse.) That's amazing. AMAZING. Go Noel!!

Erin said...


Heheh, I feel a weird sense of pride, too...

Noel De Vries said...

Thank you, thank you very much.

(do you like my Elvis voice?)

Lovely thing about children's novels, Janet. They don't have to be 80k! :) (in fact, no novel HAS to be 80k...) My final count is like 43800. Which may not sound like a lot, but it was a lot to me! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is 44k...