Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)
TITLE: 14 Days to the great American novel
By sharron pete
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As I began to open the brown envelope and expose its contents to light it donned on me the audacious task that lay before me. Greater still was the sense of pride and accomplishment that would fill me at the end of my two-week journey.
Day one’s instructions were to reflect on memorable experiences in my life. From these, it was suggested I could develop ideas to build on for the novel. This was easy I thought as ideas flooded to my mind: the day I learned I was adopted, my first year at college, the (fill in blank).
Days two through five were a blur. I read through the instructions but had little opportunity to do much else. It seems the entire household save me came down with the flu. I spent my hours flittering between rooms tending to kids. Three kids all with the flu at the same time! By the end of day five I was so exhausted I didn’t know left from right. Plus I was starting to experience a dry scratchy feeling in the back of my throat. That plus a runny nose and feverish chills made Day six a nightmare.
By Day seven I was staving off the flu. I doped up with everything I could think of: Nyquil, Tylenol, Advil, Robitussin, anything that would do the trick. The medicine made me a little loopy which was enough to scare the children into giving me the privacy I needed complete the workbook exercises. The exercise for the day involved plot outline and character development. Fueled by the medicine I flew through the exercises in warp speed propelled by my idea to write about the day I learned I was adopted. The topic had excitement and emotions with characters I could easily portray in writing.
Days eight, nine, and ten were glorious. Steve, my husband, was out of town on business and the kids were wrapped up with school and extracurricular activities that left me with a good portion of the day to concentrate on my novel.
Day eleven was slow going. Joshua had a science project due the following day and had decided to procrastinate. I spent the better part of my day helping him do research and running between craft stores.
Days twelve and thirteen were good. I was still far from an ending but pushing right along. Somewhere along the way however, I began to doubt the Jerry Shark’s method. I wondered how in the world anybody could seriously write a novel in 14 days. I must have been out of my mind to think I could do this! Torn between my desire to finish and my
Day fourteen was the last straw! My oldest Jamie, cleverly reminded me that I volunteered to bake six dozen cookies for the school’s bake sale. Who in the world volunteers to bake six-dozen cookies and gives themselves one day to do it! That must have been the Tylenol cocktail talking.
As day fourteen came to a close, I realized that not completing the novel in 14 days didn’t make me a failure. I chalked the situation up to an experience, one that I could use for the day when I did actually get the opportunity to write the next great American novel. Which according to my calculations could be any day now. This is the fifth time I’ve gone through Jerry Shark’s program.
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