A novel about love, misunderstandings, and family. Sifa and Peter are confronted with medical tragedies and healing on their way to discovering a deep love.
Currently in development.
- Sifa and Peter On Hold (9/16/2017)
I am putting my first novel, Sifa and Peter, on the back burner for now while I hone my writing skills. It’s become evident that the novel is rather intricate for a first novel. Take a look at my story premise:
A young woman damaged by her childhood and too eager to please, as well as a mother grieving from a damaging and traumatic genetic legacy of blood clotting, and a hard-working but selfish cousin, come together in during a family member’s crisis, coming to terms with not only family secrets but their past, their flaws, and the true desires of their hearts.
I’m going to take some time for shorter works. More on that to come.
- Writing Excerpt: Sifa and Peter, Scene 1 (6/10/2017)
The two cousins completed their cooldown and headed back to Peter’s car. She breathed in the crisp air, craning her head to look up at the vibrant autumn light shining through the leaves. Far overhead in the blue sky a V of ducks headed southwest, honking faintly in the distance.
She suddenly pitched forward. Peter grabbed her arm to steady her just in time. “Careful!” he chuckled. “That sidewalk crack just attacked your foot.”
She ducked her head and blushed beet-red as her phone rang.
“Hi, Mom!” In the next instant, she collapsed onto a nearby bench, her face now unnervingly pale.
- Writing Excerpt: Sifa and Peter (5/20/2017)
The two cousins ran in silence born of long familiarity, finishing the last leg of their usual route as the sunrise glinted across the lake. Neither spoke until they were back in Peter’s car. Sifa leaned back against the headrest with her eyes closed as Peter started the car. After a moment, she looked over at her cousin in the driver’s seat.
“No problem.” He paused with one hand on the keys in the ignition. “What for?”
“I’m just really glad you’re you.”
Peter ducked his head in a short nod, then he whirled a hand in the air with a flourish as he said, “Well, I’m awesome. See, I put up with you.”
Sifa punched him lightly in the upper arm.
“Ow! No hitting the driver.”
“The car hasn’t even started yet, you doofus,” she laughed.
- Writing Status: S&P Progress (4/22/2017)
The first part, of three parts, of my novel about Sifa and Peter, is shaping up nicely. I feel like the section now builds the characters and builds up tensions for the upcoming conflicts in a decent way. I’m still struggling a bit with Laura’s story — how much to reveal about her personal tragedy in the first part. How much allusion versus specific detail should be included? How much should I unravel, or unveil, about her problems? After all, her story is not as prominent as Sifa’s, or Peter’s.
I may have finally found someone to review Peter’s work scene, someone who knows of the profession Peter has in the book. We’ll see!
- Character Arcs and Story Structure (11/19/2016)
In addition to writing, I’ve been doing more research into story structure.
The problem is, my story doesn’t quite fit the standard model, as each of the three character arcs is well-formed enough to have its own introduction-conflict-resolution — but not at the same points in the overall story. I think I can strengthen each character’s arc to be more of a solid story, though.
As with all writing advice, I’m going to let it sink in and discard what doesn’t apply.
I also may have too many scenes that are too short. I’ll be looking at scene structure over the next month.
- First Draft Almost Complete (6/18/2016)
My first draft is almost complete. I’m so close I can see the light of day at the end of the tunnel. And it won’t be a train wreck! Well, only so much as first drafts are always train wrecks.
Then, it will be time to revise, and revise. I’m still not happy with Kindra’s profession. As a dynamic, assertive, no holds-barred, best friend of our protagonist, none of my job choices for her seem to fit: personal assistant to a wealthy woman, a marketing director (too close to Sifa’s profession), international spy, retail sales… maybe a nurse?
- Short Clips from the Novel (5/21/2016)
I had to cherry-pick some of these clips to avoid spoilers. Enjoy!
She breathed in the crisp air of fall as she craned her head up. The vibrant light shone through the leaves. Overhead in a blue sky a V of ducks headed southwest, honking faintly in the distance. Autumn was one of her favorite seasons.
They sat, mother and daughter, in silence together in the dull beige waiting room. They watched the hospital staff walking back and forth. Sunlight streamed in a small window nearby, dimmed more and more by clouds passing. The wind was picking up and tossing the tops of the trees back and forth.
Friday night came, and the crew were hard at work. Just outside town an accident sprawled across two lanes of interstate. Cars slowly edged by in the farthermost lane, traffic already heavy for tomorrow’s festival made heavier by the accident. The sky darkened, and the wind picked up speed.
- Character Notes: Laura Havenaugh (3/5/2016)
Here are more notes from my novel in work, this time in connection with Sifa’s mother, Laura Havenaugh. Want to know more? Have a suggestion? Feel free to comment below.
A somewhat short, somewhat thin, not-fat woman with long dark hair, slightly curly. Light olive skin. Suffers from inherited genetic problems including excessive blood clotting that caused her miscarriages. The genetic problems were probably due from ancestral inbreeding in a small rural community in the hills.
- Sifa and Peter: A Note about Sifa (2/26/2016)
My upcoming novel has a full cast of characters. The Havenaugh family includes our protagonist, Sifa: her mother, Laura, and her father, Mac.
Sifa is blonde, twenty-three, thin, of medium height. She is a little shallow in terms of her relationships and is too easy to please. She rationalizes these faults in terms of her faith, but it really is due to selfishness and fear.
Circumstances force her to mature.
- Back to Sifa and Peter (2/22/2016)
Now that my short story is submitted, I’m back to development on my novel about Sifa and Peter. I had already written the core scenes, so my next pass through will be adding more of the settings for each scene. I also need to develop some secondary characters in the story. Sifa’s mother may have a story more predominant than I thought.
- Sifa and Peter: A Novel (2/20/2016)
Currently in development is a novel about family, tragedies, and falling in love. It’s about coming of age, about fears, about secrets. It’s about genetic defects and illness. It’s about love and happiness.
More about the cast of characters soon.