Have you ever played pinball, watching the shiny metal ball bounce all over the place and hoping it would go up the twirly ramp and earn you a bonus round? This post is like a pinball being played by an amateur, bouncing all over the place with no real target. You’ve been warned.

I’m currently stewing over two things.

1. Whether to join NaNoWriMo. I really think it would set me up to fail to be forced to write a novel in a month and the perfectionist in me really can’t handle that. But I have this story idea…

2. My reading list. I’m currently reading three books: Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by David Brinkley, Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

Wilderness Warrior is non-fiction and I absolutely adore Theodore Roosevelt. Like, to the point of obsession. As in I would stalk him if he were still alive. I would write a novel about him, but he hasn’t been dead long enough. I have an authentic letter he signed, a life-size cut-out of him in my classroom, and waaaaaay too many books on him. In fact, a fellow history teacher just gave me a set of books TR published. I squealed when I saw them waiting on my desk so it’s a good thing no one else was in my classroom at the time. It was a pretty loud squeal.

Widow of the South is historical fiction set in Civil War America. In the South, obviously. It’s pretty good. In fact, if it wasn’t historical I’d say it was literary fiction. And here’s the thing about literary fiction. I love reading it, but then it gives me an inferiority complex. I swoon over the metaphors and then shed a few tears (not really) because I don’t think my novel could ever really fall into the literary fiction category. I have the same issue with The Lovely Bones. It’s disturbing, mostly because it’s about the murder of a teenage girl and I have daughter. Every few minutes I have to wipe away tears, real ones. But the book is beautiful, exquisite even.

That’s what I want my book to be like. I have this deadline for myself on when HATSHEPSUT: FEMALE PHARAOH needs to be ready for submission. But if I miss my deadline I’ll survive. The world will not implode, the publishing houses back East will continue to exist. I’m used to being able to kind of slide by on a lot of things in life, but I can’t do that with this novel. There’s too much blood on my keyboard to give it less than 100%. It needs even more than that.

Hmmm… That got a little more reflective than I’d planned. As a reward for making it all the way to the end of the post I have a reward for you- a quote of the day!

I can’t write a book by Shakespeare, but I can write a book by myself. -Sir Walter Raleigh