Wednesday, November 5, 2014


photo for book cover
I have been frantically writing my novel for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge since midnight on November 1.
I have wanted to participate in it for several years now, but always had some excuse why I could not.  This year I decided to make the time and give it a go.

I had wanted to write a story about a woman at a particular time in her life.- Would she be old? Would she be young? Would she have children? If so, how many? Were they young or grown?  

(who will she be?)

I contemplated the setting. Would it be in the USA?  Would she be a traveler? Would she be lost at sea or shipwrecked? Would she be paragliding and gotten off course and had to survive? Would she be a ski instructor in the Alps? 

I contemplated her personality. Would she be kind? Would she be cruel? Would she be funny? Would she be intelligent? Would she be shy?
I kicked around a few ideas, and finally came up with the plot that you’ll read an excerpt from in just a bit. I chose an idea and fitted the story around it. 

Unfortunately, divorce seems to be a sad but current trend of the times. So, my book is of a woman who is suddenly facing divorce after many, many years of marriage. I won't give you the synopsis, because it still may change before it's over!  

      I chose the title: The Olive Branch

To me an olive branch is symbolic of many things: victory, peace, promise, life
The Biblical dove carried the olive branch as a promise of land, peaceful followings, good times ahead.
Early Grecian war heroes held the olive branch as a symbol of victory.
In ancient times, brides wore it.

Without telling you the outcome of my book (because it's still unknown to me!) you can surmise why I may have chosen  The Olive Branch to be the title!

I had begun it in third person format.  This had allowed me to set the scene and describe the character. But in re-reading it, I thought it might be more dramatic in first person, and would allow the reader to visualize herself as the character.

I’m not sure that I will keep it like this, but the object is to complete the novel of 50,000 words before November 30th.  I have written over 12,000 words at this point and am happy with the story line thus far.

The Olive Branch
(an excerpt)

                 As I wrapped my hands around the warm mug of herbal tea, I leaned back in my favorite chair on the small covered porch and let out a sigh.  The warm days of summer were beginning to become a faded memory.  I noted the early morning fog was able to linger a little longer because of the cooler temperatures. As I closed my eyes, my sense of sight gave way to the sounds of morning.  Birds fluttering and chirping in the shrubs and trees surrounding the house and porch interrupted my thoughts. The sounds of them busily preparing their winter nests seemed to momentarily chase away some thoughts while others came pouring in.  Winter nests- what a powerful visual. So many word associations come to mind: safety; comfort; food; protection; family.  I once had a nest.  It seems as though I had devoted my life to ensuring that those in my 'nest' felt safe and comfortable; that they were fed and nurtured.  After all, they were family.  My protective instincts would have had to have ranked high on a scale had they ever been measured.  So, to think that my ‘nest’ was ripped apart from within, from someone who I had thought was family,  was and is still too much for me to comprehend or accept. 


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