August 18, 2013

WP Challenge: Green-eyed Monster Over Unfinished Novel



A Hug for Sal, Chuck, Joe, Joanne, Kathleen (writers I envy)


The wordpress daily prompt for August 3, 2013, was Write an anonymous letter to someone you’re jealous of.


 It took some thinking to come up with something that causes my eye color to change from a warm brown to an atrocious shade of green. I’m pretty satisfied with my life. I’m just not green-eyed at anyone or anything.

Well…there’s dance. I’ve always liked to dance, but I’m pretty poor at it and I’m married to a non-dancer. As I sat through my children’s dance classes, I envied their ability. But not to the green-eyed level. I lived it through their eyes and moved on.

Then, there’s music. It comes to me as I sit at the Ligonier (PA) Sunday concert on the Diamond, listening to a group of singers chant There’s Nothing But Blue Skies. Yes, I do envy those persons who can at least carry a tune without it trailing off worse than a mountain stream winding its way down a mountain, avoiding every rock and bank in its path.

Yes, I envy musical people. But not to the degree that my green eyes would cause a bold person to back off.

Along with music is an ear for language. I envy persons whose ear makes it possible and easy to learn languages. But again, not so much that my eyes turn green. I simply attribute this talent as their gift, and not mine.

Language. If only I had time and talent…I would pick up French. I’ve had many problems with French documents and books while researching and writing my novel.

Suddenly…I’m in an AHA moment. That’s it. I know what makes my eyes begin to turn hues of green…my novel.

I envy persons whose novel is written, when I don’t know if I have a sufficient amount of life left to complete mine.

So my letter begins with my writing to those persons in the Beanery Writers Group (Latrobe, PA), who have published one or more novels:


Dear Sal, Chuck, Joe, Joanne, Kathleen (did I miss anyone?):

I want to tell you how much you bring out the green shades of my eyes because you have one or more books in print, books you can pick up and have tactile sensory perception with. Books with words that others read with interest.

My first draft isn’t even complete. It’s been a long time of overcoming challenges and trying to create scenes. It is a difficult novel to write, this historical romance tome I’m trying to produce.

Of course, I know why it’s so difficult. I’m using the correct historical names, places, and events, gleaned from 1790’s documents. I dare not err in my historicity or someone will catch the error and my integrity will be compromised.

Granted, I do have some flexibility. It isn’t with the facts, the skeleton on which the novel is hung. That’s where I daren’t err. But there is much unknown, the missing, mysterious, aspect, that allows for personal interpretation and creativity to flesh out the story. For example, I have no idea how three of my main characters look. Therefore I can make them in my own imagination, albeit I must stay true to their character.

And in choosing—no, I didn’t actually set out to write this novel, it evolved, so I guess I didn’t really choose it—a complex situation of early land speculation, financial irresponsibility, and a French population brought to the United States by the land speculators, I set myself up for a long siege of self-education through research.

Unfortunately, that aspect requires concentration. I can write other things (like this post) while a passenger in our family car, driving 11 hours one way on a journey. I cannot work on the novel then. Or while seated on the Diamond that marks the center of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, enjoying the musical notes from the Sunday evening concert circling around my head and floating off into the clouds above.

Thus, I must conclude that what makes my eyes atrociously green with envy is hearing of other’s completed works while I’m still working on my first draft.

And that, my dear readers, is that. While writing this I enjoyed the band playing a jazz version of the Pennsylvania Polka, wanting to arise and dance, and as I finish I am listen to Moonlight Serenade. A slight breeze flows over me as I sit back, let out a sigh of relief that another post is completed, and watch the band members complete their final number.

Ahh, life is good. If only I weren’t green-eyed with envy over other people’s completed novels.

And returning home is a book given to me by my friends Sal and Chuck: Get That Novel Written.

Thank you for the inspiration. I still have eyes of green for you and your completed books.


Perhaps I will have a published book too. Someday. Bear with me. Keep encouraging me.

I’ll close here—I must do something on my novel when I return home.



Celebrating 1000 Posts on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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  1. Carolyn, good morning. Congrats on completing this post!…Ahhh, the green eyed monster, who peeks out and wrecks havoc in our lives. He lives within most of us…:}

    Comment by merry — August 18, 2013 @ 7:54 am | Reply

  2. Yes. It’s title is “From Sea to Shining Sea”. The story of my family but I am stuck in Ohio in the 1850’s with an elusive ancestor who refuses to be found. I like the hunting better than the writing.

    Comment by B Hodgkins — August 19, 2013 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  3. […] It’s been a long time of overcoming challenges and trying to (continue reading this letter at WP Challenge: Green-eyed Monster Over Unfinished Novel, then read Updates on My […]

    Pingback by Green-Eyed Monster or Envy? | Carolyn's Online Magazine — May 16, 2015 @ 1:17 am | Reply

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