Not too long ago the pool in our apartment complex opened for the summer. My husband and I packed up some sunscreen and water {or beer, depending on how judgy you are} and headed outside with our two-year-old. Despite the balmy weather, the pool water hadn’t warmed up yet and was FREEZING. While we dipped our toes in and deliberated whether or not it was too cold to swim, my daughter barreled down the pool steps wearing floaties and a look of sheer determination. I had to race in after her, my skin burning and lungs gasping for breath as soon as I hit the icy water. After a few minutes, though, I got used to it, and the water started to feel pretty comfortable.

This first blog post is a lot like that day at the pool. I’ve been dipping my toes in, writing a few sentences here and there, and deliberating when and if I should start a blog {could I really be THAT interesting?}. So, after wrapping up edits on the first chapter of my novel, I took a page out of my daughter’s book and decided it was time to just jump in. Hopefully after a few posts {or beers, again depending on how judgy you are} it will start to feel comfortable, too…
Now, about that first chapter. As you’ll see in my bio, when I started writing my book I had no aspirations of becoming an author. Creating Athena and living vicariously through her experiences was a type of therapy for me; it provided direction and meaning during a time in my life when I felt like I had neither. I didn’t know exactly where I was going with the story until later chapters, when I began to take the journey that both of us were on more seriously. 

Fast-forward to the edits for chapter one that came from my publisher recently. The changes suggested were relatively minor, but nevertheless left me frustrated with myself and questioning my decision/ability to publish in the first place. I struggled for weeks with this process, not just because of the plot inconsistencies, but also because I have a problem re-envisioning anything. Once I perceive something one way, whether it’s a person, situation, or words I’ve typed on a page, I have a ridiculously difficult time seeing, or saying, it any other way. 

Another obstacle was that my husband deployed to California two weeks ago, so the only time I was able to write uninterrupted was after my daughter went to bed. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I’m good for after 9pm {at least since I turned 30, now I'm in bed long before the time I used to go out!} is either watching TV or reading a good book. Definitely not writing one. 

After a few sleepless nights producing what turned out to be cringe-worthy material come morning, I knew I had to do something different. I packed up the car and headed home to Syracuse, where I could escape for a few glorious hours to the Barnes and Noble café {shout out to my mom for babysitting}. Typing on a new page instead of staring at an old draft, along with a cup of non-Keurig coffee, a Michael McDonald(!) soundtrack, and not having a toddler yelling “mamaaaaaaa” at the top of her lungs proved to be just what I needed to get the edits done.

If I’ve learned anything while working on my first chapter, it’s that writing a novel does not end with the last word on a manuscript. It’s a journey that at times is therapeutic, and at times is maddening. In this blog, I hope to not only talk about the book, but to bring you on this journey with me. To celebrate the ups, reflect on the downs, and learn what it really means to see a dream through to the end.

Thanks for coming along.
 


Comments

Robyn DeGaetano
06/23/2014 7:01am

I really like this. On the drive home from our chat in the park, I was thinking how I remember you always being good at writing in High School. Do you remember English with Mr. Myer? You wrote some really good poems in there! Anyhow, I look forward to hearing about this process. Though it's really hard right now, I'm getting that you'll look back on it and be so glad that you did it.

Cori
06/23/2014 10:07am

Thank you for the kind words Robyn! I do remember Mr. Myer's English class, he was such a creative teacher. In hindsight, I wish I had followed his advice and majored in English in college. That way the rules of grammar and punctuation would be imbedded in my brain!! :)

Dana Cacchione
06/26/2014 6:10am

Awesome blog, Cori! I love your writing. I love your story. You write in such a creative, interesting way. Can't wait to see your book in Barnes and Noble!


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