“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

So I joined The Write Practice website and decided to do their 100 Day Book Program. I had this book and its ideas marinating and stewing for years, about three or four to be exact. I really liked the novel idea, but I needed to stop sputtering and spinning my wheels, then I was invited to a webinar hosted by Joe Bunting about book ideas. By the end, I found myself enrolled in the program.

They say (I don’t know who “they” would be) that a bad start leads to a good finish. I hadn’t been placed in a group and things were about to kick off. Thank goodness Ruthanne Reid worked with me. Thanks Ruthanne! The start was October 16 and participants had to finish and upload the book by January 23. I finished January 18. No, I wasn’t overachieving. Snow and ice down in the deep south don’t give you too many things to do or places to go. Since my classes were cancelled, I could stay up late and finish. After resolving the sub-plot, I knew I could make it to the end and I did! I must say that finishing was the highlight of the program. One of the great things about the program was the workshop. It helps to get feedback and encouragement from other writers and read their work as well. Big shouts out to the writers in Group B! You’re marvelous!

Before the program started, I locked myself in by telling everyone, friends, family, and coworkers that I was in the program, and I had an actual deadline, and I didn’t want them wondering what happened. The lows were there. Writing can be  reflective and rewarding,  but she’s a harsh mistress and taskmaster. I’d known that from writing short stories, but this was a whole novel. It was hard to hunker down and work and post one or two chapters each Friday. These ideas for other novels kept swirling in my head, and sometimes I get distracted by them, but I battled the resistance and made it. I also appreciate Meghan Tschanz for her weekly reminders and emails. 

I am happy with the novel which is titled The Memory of Water. It is a “southern fried” fantasy in which a young woman, a water elemental, struggles to control her powers before they kill her or she is killed by a hunter who helps protect the magical realm from mundane humans. As she trains, she manages to take a young man’s memories who pursues her to retrieve them. I have to whittle down my premise to a sentence, but I have confidence that I can do it.

I won’t mince words when I say this was hard. However, I would not trade this experience for anything. I survived and finished! The 100 Day Book Program is a challenge but worth it!