Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Great Novel That Was Never Written

Like many people in this world, I always thought I'd like to write a novel. The hard part, tho, that I could never move beyond, is what would I write about? I love to read novels and as I read them I think how the hell did the author do that? It takes great creativity and organization to put something like that together.

Years ago, my friend Sharon and I started a notebook. We would save funny articles, typos in the paper, dumb ads, death notices, etc. and tape them in The Notebook. We have taken turns being the watchdog of The Notebook. Sometimes we'll call each other and say "I found something for The Notebook." We exchange magazines and coupons regularly, and sometimes the bag we present to each other will include an item for The Notebook. When Sharon turned 50 last year, I presented her with The Notebook, with a small note attached directing her to be the keeper of the notebook for the next 10 years, and to give it back to me on my 60th birthday. As I read through it before giving it to her, I laughed to myself as I found that I was still amused by the items we found funny 30 years ago. Several items had prompted us to say "that would make a great novel."

Sometimes we would find two death notices on the same person, showing the world that the family was at war. The different notices would include different people as survivors. Great novel material.

Sharon and I are both nosey, and we love to solve mysteries. One of our favorite times of year (and pardon our dark sense of humor) is when a certain family writes a poem about their dead loved one, a very pretty young woman who was murdered, outside in the snow, and the perpetrator was never found. The family, it seems, is sure that the woman's husband committed the act. Every year the poem is a little different, and there is a picture of the young woman. What we have pieced together is that law enforcement looked the other way, in the eyes of the family, and never arrested the evil husband. The perfect ingredients for a novel.

Part of my job at work involves working with large medical claims that are in "case management" which means a case manager contacts the family and helps them find their way through the medical system and the various therapies that includes. There are incredibly heroic people out there living under very difficult circumstances. Very ill people living with aging disabled parents and children with disabilities. I read those reports and wonder what goes on in those homes and think - yeah, this would make a great novel.

I don't know how to get started, but I still yearn to write that great novel. Maybe someday...

6 comments:

Trish said...

I've enjoyed peeking through the window into your world - interesting and fun read!
Thinking I'll be a regular visitor here...

Trish

Sharon said...

"Sharon and I are both nosey"????
I prefer to think of us as curious,inquisitive and interested in others.

I do hope you write that novel some day. I, too, have always thought I should write one but I never am able to get started. Napping is always easier.

AOM-1 said...

This was fun to read! The more I read on your blog, the more I want to read. Love your style~

Jeanie said...

Oh, this is great! I'm going to link from The Gypsy to this -- it would be a great "writing exercise" which will be the topic of my Write on Wednesday post (which will come out on Thursday. Go figure.)

JessInFocus said...

Great read. I hope you do get your novel. My friend and I used to make up our own endings to books and movies. Especially when we didn't like the original one.

Becca said...

What a great idea, and you two must have a veritable treasure trove of good stories to tell in that notebook.

As an aside, I'm a medical writer for a case management company - i.e., I write those repors you read! And yes, there are some amazing stories out there.