April 23 09

Spotted: a homeless man on a bicycle parked at the end of my driveway. he was rifling through my recycling bins.

and this, friends, is how my 87th started-but-never-to-be-finished novel was born. because that’s how it is with me; it’s how it has always been. I am somewhere unimportant, doing something equally as unimportant, and something hits me right then and there and then my mind starts racing and within five minutes I’ve plotted out seven tenths of a book in my head. seven tenths is the key, though. Like Jodi Picoult, I cannot write a decent ending. I started writing when I was 6. when I was home a few weeks ago, my mom pulled out this book I had written and illustrated. It was a true masterpiece. I mean, we’re talking thumbprint people, you all. (you are impressed,I know)


Anyway, it was one of the things my mom kept…because inside it, right on page 7, it says, “When I grow up I want to be a book writer”

you see, I knew. when I was 6. Sure, i went through that “ooh, I want to be a ___________” stage (insert job of the moment here: teacher, doctor, fireman, news anchor, OB nurse) and interestingly, of all the books I’ve started to write, THAT one, the thumbprint person book I wrote when I was in first grade, was the only one I have ever finished. back when I looked like this:


(the bangs! the bangs)

until now.

this one? this new one? it’s getting finished.

okay. I lied. That wasn’t the only one I have ever finished. But, while i AM proud of the books I have published through [insert company name here]


and as much as it warms the cockles when Isabella and I read them together and she says “Home Run! written by MY MOMMY!” with a huge, proud grin plastered across her little mug, I have NOVEL dreams.

and I mean, I am pumped about this one. Of course, I am pumped about each one at the beginning. and I already mapped a good seven tenths of it out in my head on my drive to work. names and faces! plot twists! surprises! romance! angst! It’s all there…this kernel of a story. I just need to get pen to paper, erm, finger to keyboard and DO IT.

the only problem? TIME. There are too many things I want to do. Too many things I NEED to do. I have too many passions, too many things. Between my day job, my night jobs, my kids, my hobbies, my training for a half-marathon, the one thing I need is more time. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a drink-getter. I am a chef. I am an editor. I am a blogger. I am an interviewer. I am a writer. I am a runner. I am a decent photographer. I am a carpool driver. I am a blanket maker. I am a kick-ass photo researcher.

too bad I can’t dictate while I am running. now THAT would be a talent.

  1. OH man, do I hear you. I don’t even have a full-time job and I still have a list the length of my arm of things that aren’t getting done. I think it’s a personality type, that makes you want to do everything and kick ass at it. I hope you’re able to find time to write your novel!

    Comment by MonsteRawr on April 23, 2009
  2. Writing a novel is the only desire, the only want, that I have carried with me since my youth. It’s the one thing I have always thought about, that I’ve always dreamed about, fantasized about.

    It’s the one thing I know that I am capable of. Deep down, I know I can do it. I just need to figure out how, and when, and all that other stuff.

    I lost touch of that want, that dream, after my mum died. I stopped writing completely for three years. Three years! And then I started my blog, and got back in to it again. But blogging is different than writing – to me, anyway – and I struggled to get back in touch with the writer in me.

    And then I met you. And thanks to you, and the opportunity you gave me, I am seriously thinking about that novel I’ve been carrying with me for so long.

    I can’t wait to read your novel. Take your time, I’m in no rush. 🙂

    Comment by mamatulip on April 23, 2009
  3. There was a kids’ magazine I subscribed to when I was a kid (Chickadee – how Canadian); one section was fanciful inventions. One of them was a baseball cap that you put on your head; and the cap was attached to a mechanical arm that would immediately transcribe all your thoughts. So I think all you need to do is patent that, invent it, and you’re off to the races.

    Best of luck, Ali – we can’t wait to read that novel.

    Comment by Jen on April 23, 2009
  4. Twins, I say. I mean not the published books part, but about doing so many things and loving them all…but just needing more time.

    We can sleep when we’re dead, right?

    Angellas last blog post..Take Me Out The Ball Game

    Comment by Angella on April 23, 2009
  5. Yeah, I’m the same way. With the same wants. And (a lot of) the same things that get in the way.

    I have a stack of notebooks that have first chapters written in them. Lists of character names and histories and flaws. Sketches of characters that are also known as the voices in my head.

    And I rarely get past chapter 1 when it comes to putting them on paper.

    Comment by Darcey on April 23, 2009
  6. I have started dedicating 10 minutes a day to myself. And I am surprised about how much I get done in those 10 minutes for me.

    Comment by WickedStepMom on April 23, 2009
  7. I have the same dreams too. I have a notebook for my first novel. I’ve read books on writing novels, with tips of the trade. I know I will do it. Some day. I just need to watch less TV and MAKE myself do it.

    Kristabellas last blog post..And Now, For My Next Trick, I Shall Jinx Myself!

    Comment by Kristabella on April 23, 2009
  8. Are you going to work while you are in the states? Write it while you are there (if your not working of course).

    Comment by Chantal on April 23, 2009
  9. Dude, I so know this feeling. I’ve started about 7 novels, never to revisit them again. And I’m always so! pumped! in the beginning, and my mom is on me to actually finish one, but when you write all day long for your real job, the last thing you want to do is write some more come nightfall.

    Also, I never had one of those “I want to be ___” stages; it’s been “a writer” since I was 3 and finished my first book about Disney characters, illustrations and all =)

    Also also, your kiddie mullet is kinda awesome.

    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on April 23, 2009
  10. OK, so you haven’t written the great American(Canadian?)Novel yet, but you are WAY ahead of me! I had no clue you were a published author!! So cool! I am going to have to hunt your books down when I am in the states next!

    Comment by Arica Saltzman on April 23, 2009
  11. That’s why I love the MEMO feature on my cell phone. It’s not dictation, but whenever an idea for MY yet unwritten~fabulous novel stirkes, I record it. It’s fun to have a margarita and replay all the stuff you said…and then forgot why it was SOOOO funny the last time you heard it…when you were having margaritas with your friends 🙂

    LibraryGirl62s last blog post..Express Written Consent

    Comment by LibraryGirl62 on April 23, 2009
  12. I really feel like you COULD dictate while running. Someone has to have invented some sort of device!

    Comment by Rhi on April 23, 2009
  13. I wanted to be a writer and dr Quinn medicine woman. I wrote a story about barbie when I was seven.

    Comment by Rhea on April 23, 2009
  14. I used to sit under the tree in the front yard and fill notebooks with stories. It pains me still that I no longer have them, angstly and old school General Hospital-esque as they were. I think it’s an amazing thing when we know as kids what we truly want to be when it’s time to be it. I really do hope the time is there for you soon.

    fadkogs last blog post..i was going to title this post ‘it sucked and then i cried’ but apparently there’s a book out there with that title, so now i’m stumped

    Comment by fadkog on April 23, 2009
  15. You can do it, Ali! But will the title of your novel also end with an exclamation point? =)

    Comment by Anna on April 23, 2009
  16. I always love the first half of Jodi Picoult novels. The second half usually makes me want to punch myself in the ribs. good luck. I have a ton of random typed up scenes for use in a book I always hope to write, but at some point, I allow myself to be distracted. I think it’s the firefox tab on my screen. It begs for me to click to the internet. I need to ban myself.

    Comment by Amanda on April 23, 2009
  17. You need a clone, girl! Or a wife.

    Joanies last blog post..How pretty!!!!

    Comment by Joanie on April 23, 2009
  18. You can do this, Ali… I have complete faith in you.

    Comment by Haley-O on April 23, 2009
  19. Keep a notebook with you ALWAYS. In the car. In your purse. You have no idea how many great schemes I’ve thought of and had nowhere to write them down, although I *knew* I’d never forget them. And sadly… I forgot them.

    You can do this!

    My mom just recently told me the same thing about writing a book. She said, “Why not do something that comes naturally to you.”

    You have the talent, girl.

    lorens last blog post..How can I stay angry?

    Comment by loren on April 24, 2009
  20. True story: a friend of mine carries one of those old school mini cassette voice recorders with him when he runs or walks to record moments of brilliance. But then you’d have to find the time to play them back and transcribe your brilliance, and decipher in through the panting.

    Ozs last blog post..The Biter Strikes Again

    Comment by Oz on April 24, 2009
  21. I think I’ve seen To the Rescue! at Chapters, but didn’t look at the author. I’m totally going to find it now. My kids are crazy (CRAZY) for trucks.

    No Mother Earths last blog post..I almost had an affair today…

    Comment by No Mother Earth on April 26, 2009
  22. OMG I do believe my son has To The Rescue!

    Time. I don’t know how to get more of it. I’m waiting for all the kids to grow up I guess?

    OH and high waisted pants coming back is ALL KINDS OF AWESOME!

    Amy @ Milk Breath &s last blog post..Cowboy Coffee Cake

    Comment by Amy @ Milk Breath & on April 27, 2009

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