I had a few projects planned for the month of November. Then I got sidetracked. In a big way. Instead of doing my Christmas sewing projects and teaching myself to reupholster our family room chairs, I am writing. In fact, this blog post is a slight detour and a way of seeking some feedback.
There are legions of people focused on writing right now as part of National Novel Writing Month, and I have joined them. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. In my mind that makes more of a novella, but that’s okay. Anything that focuses people on reading or writing is just fine with me, and if I come out of this with a half decent story then so much the better.
So let me just give you a little excerpt and you can feel free to comment. A dog adopts a young couple in the throes of renovating their first home. This story is based on my love for a particular dog many years ago. His picture is here for inspiration.
It was the worst looking house in the neighborhood. The front porch was in terrible condition, the steps were sagging, and the windows wore the grunge of what may have been years of neglect. Some of the roof shingles were crumbling and the paint on the siding was peeling so badly in spots that it barely looked painted.
But the price was right. And these new owners were young enough to put some muscle into repairs and naïve enough to approach this massive project without any real understanding of the commitment and costs involved.
They pulled into the driveway and approached the house now with eyes wide open. Eyes that simultaneously looked like “we can do this!” and “Oh my God what have we gotten ourselves into.”
With the key now firmly in hand, this home was theirs. It was not the ever so warm and cozy townhouse apartment they had rented for the past three years. It was seven rooms and a bath, with a wide front porch held up by broad stacked stone columns. Craftsman, the realtor had said, but they already knew that. A great starter home, she added, but they already felt like this place could be not only starter, but a finisher, and every home in between.
The location was perfect. This was a neighborhood where all the houses had the same Arts and Crafts warmth, each with its own character – a different porch here and there, a different type of dormer, or some unique leaded glass or stone in the construction. They were not cookie cutter, and they all looked sturdy. Except for this one. The other homes had either been very well maintained all along, or had already been fixed up to look crisp and elegant. They housed families. This was a neighborhood where the streets were lined with decades old oak and maple trees, children rode their bikes up and down the sidewalks, and middle aged people were walking dogs.
“Look,” she said. “That could be us someday walking our dog here.” She pointed towards the older couple with a schnauzer at the end of the block.
“We don’t have a dog,” he noted.
“Not yet. But someday.” She looked hopeful.
“Definitely. Someday.” He answered.
So…that’s my opening. PLEASE be honest with me – brutally honest. Are you interested in dog stories? Do you want to know more about this young couple? Any feedback on this?
I’ll try to post more excerpts once in a while, but bear with me if my blogging is less frequent for a bit. I’m really engrossed in writing this story and my brain is moving much faster than my fingers. So my beautiful upholstery fabric will have to wait. Maybe I’ll do that in January.