Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I’m Thankful For

Yesterday I was highly productive. I did something I've never accomplished before. I wrote over 10,000 words for my Nanowrimo novel. It didn't even feel like a struggle until around 11 last night when my eyes and hands were getting weary. By that time, I was so close to 10K, I just wanted to see if I could. So I jumped from being behind on my word count to being nearly finished: 46,809. I'm also right at the end of the story, which I've also never done before: write a complete book in one month. Of course, it's more a novella than a novel, but as I fill out details and such, I'm sure it'll hit at least 60K, still a short novel. I really like the story. When I started writing it the first of November I barely knew what I would be writing about - no outline, barely any characters and only first names, I knew the end but not much about the middle. It developed as I typed, as did my characters I didn't know when I started. Now they are full, deep characters with an interesting story to tell and I'm excited about the whole thing.

I will likely small press this book. I'm interested in the experience of small press, plus if it's contracted, I won't pay anything to get it out there so anything I make will be profit. I haven't done that before, either.

This one is sweet romance, not at all gushy sweet, but safe for all ages sweet. No language issues. Nothing even leading toward sexual interaction. No sensual scenes other than one nice kiss, also safe for all ages. I think after the intensity of Off The Moon, I needed to unwind myself.

The premise: Women on the homefront during an overseas war set back in earlier days when a woman's reputation could be ruined even with a simple public kiss. It's not a feminist novel. It's not anti-feminist. It's just a 'how it was' story as far as I can know from combining my love of history with my knowledge of what it's like to be a woman left at home during a war.

Today, I'll finish the last three thousand some words, and the story.

1-- I'm thankful for the gift of writing I've been given, and for the opportunity at this time of my life to be able to produce so well and get these stories out there.

2-- I'm thankful my husband has a good job during these lean times, and that he's had one since the day we met. Even if they are hard jobs, physically and mentally, and even if it has meant a lot of sacrifice from all of us, we have food, shelter, and clothing and each other. I'm also thankful for his willingness to take such hard work in order to provide for his family.

3-- I'm thankful, as my uncle spends his final days fighting cancer, that he has family around caring for him and a hospital staff providing as much comfort as they can. And I'm thankful to know that the 'end' is not the end. There is more...

4-- I'm thankful my kids are healthy, intelligent, becoming-capable young people who daily show their moral values and their care for others. Never mind the irritations that always comes with children, I'm thankful to be able to have to put up with those, also. It means they are still here buzzing around me in order to be annoying. And they give good hugs to make up for it.

5-- I'm thankful I live in a country where I can rant about the things I don't like that are happening and still be free to sit here and go on living my life as productively as I wish. Yesterday, I read a blog by Maksim Chmerkovsky of Dancing with the Stars where he was being attacked for his opinions. His reply: he was so glad to have the freedom to share his opinions safely now, since he couldn't in his own country, and he would continue doing so. Good for him. He understands the value of America and is happy enjoying its freedoms. He came over, worked hard, learned English well, and is the epitome of what immigrants CAN be in this country if they're willing to BE part of this country.

6-- I'm thankful for all the women who have come before me who stood up and fought for their rights to be treated as equal citizens. Even if it has been carried too far toward the other edge in some situations, at least we have the right to act as we choose, to marry or not, to work at home or outside it, to have children or not, to live alone if we wish and can support ourselves.

7-- I'm thankful I have the right to write the stories I wish and to choose what I read, regardless of opinion.

8-- I'm thankful that regardless of the health care debate, we have the world's best health care and the highest survival rates. I'm willing to voice my opinion and fight to not let that change.

9-- I'm incredibly thankful for our military. Without them, those rights listed above would vanish.

10-- I'm thankful to God for all the beauty around us, for the love we have for each other, for the ability we've been given to care for ourselves and each other and our world, and for free will. I would never exchange having no pain for a lack of free will. It is a tremendous gift and whatever is going on around us, we should always remember that gift. Being controlled is not worth greater 'ease'. Struggles are what make us what we are and allow us to be so thankful for what we have.

Have a Beautiful Thanksgiving.

Fall Trees ~ LK Hunsaker 2009


Ali said...

This is a beautiful post :) Lots of things to be thankful for indeed.

Mona Risk said...

Loraine, what a great post. I agree with everyone of your points and I can relate so much to Chmerkovsky. we have a lot to be grateful for here.

LK Hunsaker said...

Ali and Mona, thank you.

Mona, with as much as you've traveled, I'm sure you have seen the differences in culture enough to fully realize what we have.

Iris said...

Very nice post :)

Having come from a post-communist country and living in a Western country now, I can relate well to Chmerkovsky's statement. The freedom of speech is definitely something to be grateful for, and something a lot of the world still cannot take for granted.

And rooting for you to finish your novel today! 10 thousand words in one day, woah! The best I did was 6 thousand in one. Way to go!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Congratulations on your amazing work - 10k words! Wow!

A thoughtful post, LK, very heartfelt.

Kristen said...

A lovely post indeed.

LK Hunsaker said...

Iris, I appreciate you coming by and adding your thoughts. And thank you. I'm surprised at the 10, also -- not to be repeated soon, I'm sure. 6,000 makes a long day for me, generally. That's a great count.

Lindsay and Kristen, thank you. :-)