Real Life Imitates Art, and Then Some

My first self-published book, Virtually Yours, is a tale of Internet relationships. The online moms’ group featured in the novel is loosely based upon an online group I’ve belonged to since the mid-90’s. We’d met each other in an AOL chat room on our way to scoring Beanie Babies for our then-babies, and somehow forged and maintained the friendship for the last almost twenty years. (Almost twenty years – holy cow!) We have weathered relationships, breakups, hook-ups, our kids growing up, Columbine, 9-11, job searches, health issues, family loss – you name the life change, and we’ve lived through and commiserated with each other over it.VIrtually Yours (300dpi 2700x1800)

I penned the second novel in the series, Virtually Yours Forever, about a year and a half ago. (Yes, there might be a third in the works. I have ideas, lots of ideas. 🙂 Once I get a spare minute to get them down…Ah, ha ha ha….) For those of you who have been waiting patiently for me to produce VY4Ever, yes, I know. I’m slow. VERY slow. I’ve been picking at a couple of other projects at the same time. I swear, I have adult onset ADD, because just when I get going on one track, a shiny bauble tempts me from the other side of the room – or my laptop.

Now comes Real Life word that might get my butt into gear with regard to finishing the sequel.

One of my Beanie Mom friends has invited all of us to her daughter’s wedding…in Las Vegas, this September! At the Bellagio! Can you say O-M-G?

Now I have met some of the moms at various points in the last decade and a half. There are a couple who I’ve missed, for whatever the reason. It’s far easier to maintain a long distance relationship with the Internet and cell phones, a helluva lot easier than it was 20 years ago when we emailed, arranged to meet in private chat rooms, or snail mailed. Although we still maintain our email ‘loop’, we now have a private Facebook group, and we send each other group texts on a regular basis. We keep in touch using Instagram and Pinterest. It’s like we’re right next door, even though we’re all over the country.

This might be the first time we’ll all be in the same place at the same time, and you can bet I’m going to do my best to be there.

What is funny is that the premise of VY4ever is a wedding gone (partially) awry. (There are some other things going sour too, but I’m not going to spoil it by revealing too much.) While I don’t wish sweet Rachel (the Real Life bride) and her mother a wedding from hell, you can bet your booties if I make it to the ceremony, I’m going to take furious notes.

Honest to God. A writer needs Real Life. Some things you just can’t make up.

Another Successful 30 Days

Do you hear the celebratory cheering? The hoorays? The clink of champagne glasses?

No? Then you must not be in tune with the results of this year’s NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.

See?

At about 10:30 a.m. Eastern, I decided to test my Word’s word count feature and try to validate my NaNo novel, the sequel to Virtually Yours – NaNo winner of 2009. (Also known as Virtually Yours, a Love Story in Thirty Days.) I call the new book VY2. (The new working title is Virtually Ours, a Wedding in Thirty Days, but I don’t know how that’s going to play out once I finish the book. Things can change.) As writers know, the word count feature can be flawed, so I wrote more than I thought was necessary. To my pleasant surprise, my official total was more than what was necessary: 50,149.

As I pointed out in the previous post, I’m most successful with NaNoWriMo when I have a plan, and this year I had a dilly of a plan. In fact, I began plotting this book back in the summer. I was also infused with a swell of ambition, not something this ordinarily lazy person has most of the time. I wrote nearly every day, and found myself feeling awful if I didn’t make time to write. I hope I can carry this work ethic beyond today.

While the book is far from finished, I’ve managed to formulate the story lines, strengthened the characters, and added the requisite twists and turns. There are several Big Reveals, none as big as the original, but I hope they’ll do. I tried something new this year; I wrote each POV separately and merged them all together this morning. I found that I could keep the separate stories more separate that way, and wasn’t as apt to repeat myself.

The next step is to print everything out, cut the scenes apart, and rearrange them in the order I want them to appear in the final book, fill in the color, correct my mistakes. And add the rest of the ending. 🙂

For a preview hint of what’s in this one, there’s the upcoming wedding of the decade between a NYC socialite and a romance novelist, their Internet friends (the Virtual Moms), an impossibly too small Vera Wang gown and an antique corset, reminiscing, a death, a runaway, a sex kitten next door who means to take one of the husbands, a sex-cort job offer, a hyper-self-conscious heavy woman who won’t say yes, a wildly popular talk show, the snowstorm of the century and displaced travelers, and the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Oh, and a mad blogger.

Whee! I’m so happy. You really can’t hear that celebration? or are you deaf? 😛