The Big Project

wpid-IMG_20130430_134326.JPGI guess it’s one thing to dream about becoming a writer. For a while, that’s exactly what I did: I’d write my stories, take my creative writing classes, and think that one day day I would claim the title of ‘writer’. Well, that time has come and gone – today I am a writer, title owned. In all honestly, it was the diagnosis that pushed me to live by what I love. Since then I’ve recommitted to my fiction, poured out emotions into this blog and picked up ghost-writing and social media gigs with amazing organizations. It’s not all glam – actually, it’s definitely not glamorous – but I love it. That’s what matters.

And as this all happened one assignment and post and story at a time . . . Catherine the writer (that’s me!) soon began to dream about being Catherine the novelist, Catherine the author. And once again, I waited on that dream, nervous about taking the steps to make it happen.

However, now it seems a possible recurrence is pushing me forward yet again (*&%$!!!) to live what I dream, and stop waiting for permission from anyone outside of myself.

We must all have these sorts of stories.

My story – my novel – started back when I wanted to get pregnant. Pregnancy is intimidating, and so to work through I began to write a semi-ridiculous story about a line of women who were coping with the emotional and personal changes of becoming a mother.

Then, bam (and sigh), I got breast cancer.

No babies. The writing stopped. Surgery and chemo happened. Life changed in so many ways. I began to recover. (*ahem! and there is the micro story of that)

And then . . .  eventually . . . the writing started again, with the same family of women, the same nine months of pregnancy, the same whimsical and ridiculous stories. Except this time there was something deeper.

postcard to great grandmotherMy dad gave me a very precious gift when I was around thirteen. He gave me an old tin container, and in that container are a pile of postcards from his grandmother and her friends. So that makes her my great, great, grandmother. Of course, I’ve never met her, don’t know her story – but as I began to write about my Claires, and their journeys, I (in a sense) began to create a history of the possible women in my past, and the battles they may have fought, the adventures they may have had, and how we all tie together and pull strength from those stories (of course, this required NO research since as a writer, I pull everything from a fictional world called My Imagination).

And that’s the personal side of this story. I am becoming novelist right now, and this book is going to get published – hopefully with your help! 

Here’s the book blurb, the one I was sending out to agents:

“Constructed in stand-alone chapters, the story of the middle-name Claires is intrinsically connected. These ladies are nine generations of the same female line, taking us from one life-defining moment to the next.

Each middle-named Claire has a unique ambition: from Amelia Earl being the first solo woman to circle the world in an air balloon; Elizabeth fighting off an angry ghost  while deciding what’s next career-wise; Dotty rebelling against an abusive husband after chasing down a snowy owl; Ruby craving escape from her small town life;  The twins stowing away on a TransCanada train; Anna fighting her urge to create magic; Aliza blackmailing her way into circus life; Marianne convincing her mother-in-law to end a hunger strike; and Amelia Stives sailing to the new world after burning down the family barn. Yet in this novel, the middle-named Claires’ greatest overarching challenge is to face their own insecurities and find strength despite the uncertainty of their futures. Their stories lace together as the reader learns more about where each woman came from, and what her mother, and her mother’s mother (etc.) has experienced.”

But what you really need to know is this story pours out from the heart, and will have you laughing, crying and thinking. It’s good. So go read it. It’s really good. You of the future is reading it at this very moment, thinking, “hey, this book is awesome.” And it’s my baby – so obviously I’m presenting you with an extremely biased opinion. 😉

Soon I’ll be starting a crowd funding campaign. You’ll be hearing more on this as it goes. Watch this space for developments. And thanks for reading this far. I know it’s not the biopsy drama, or “what comes next” kinda stuff, (all the fun stuff is saved for August the 13th, I’m having dreams of everything changing, seeing some freaking line in the sand that I can’t cross back over – but that’s for another post, eh.) this project is my mental lifesaver without doubt, along with Zsolt, family, friends and everyone online. So, why not grab our dreams while we can? That’s what I’m sure as heck gonna do. And you are so very much invited to read along, and read the book too.

More to come. Along with all that other stuff . . .

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16 thoughts on “The Big Project

  1. I can’t wait for your book!!! I love reading your stories and following your life. Always hoping and praying for you. Feels like I know you even though I’ve only seen you a few times at karate when you were a teen. I want to keep reading stories of you having babies and raising them. Hugs

  2. What an amazing gift from your father – priceless and so inspirational. I am fully behind you in your bid to become published. It WILL happen:) Dreams are for turning into reality. Love and hugs xxx

  3. I feel so privileged to be one of the first to read about your new project, Catherine! I love your book blurb – it’s so enticing – and I really do think the book is awesome! Can’t wait to hear more!!

  4. I love the book’s blurb and am particularly intrigued by Elizabeth’s, the twins and Anna’s stories. Longing to buy a copy and start reading.

  5. Hi Catherine, Isn’t it funny how we feel hesitant to embrace calling ourselves writers. There’s so much in this post I relate to. One thing I know for sure is that you are a very talented writer – I think I’ve told you this more than a few times! And yes, writing is a lifeline for sure. Good luck to you on the big project. You’re will get published and it’s going to be great!

    • It’s a very funny thing, isn’t it? Somehow we’ve built up expectations of what a writer is, and who is/isn’t allowed to be one (at least in our heads). What I came to realize was that those ‘rules’ could be broken simply by breaking them. No one questions it. But even if I wasn’t a ‘writer’ I would always write. It’s certainly a lifeline – as you well know! And it’s an act of community too when we share it through our blogs.

  6. Catherine, I don’t you personally at all….i do remember you tho and i know your brother. You are simply amazing. A true inspiration to everyone-not only those fighting cancer but other ills as well (like me!). I get so much strength from your blog.
    You are an amazing writer as well. I am always so interested to read your posts. I can not wait to read your book!
    I have shared your blog with two friends battling breast cancer as well.
    Never lose your strength and fighting power.

    • I’m so glad you said hello, Kelly. I think we draw inspiration from one another when it comes to finding strength – and the same goes for your comment here. Thank you so much. And thanks for passing on the blog to your friends. There’s such a supportive online community here. We’re certainly not alone 🙂

  7. dear Catherine,

    YOU CAN DO IT!!! I know you can. I am here, cheering you on, and I cannot wait to read your book!!! your blog is always so creatively and eloquently written, with all the just right dashes of insight, vivid descriptions, humor, and your skill at drawing your readers right into where you are, what you are thinking and doing. your writing voice is wonderfully unique, as is your imagination. your book blurb is so intriguing – I WANT YOUR BOOK!!

    much love, xoxo

    karen

  8. Catherine, I will happily help contribute to your crowd funding campaign when you start it! If you want some marketing help I can do that too. Congratulations on your status as a “writer” although you have always been one to me. 🙂

  9. I’m so excited for you, Catherine! You are such a great writer; I know this will be a success. You are drawing from a wealth of personal experience, and that always enriches fiction. And writing is so cathartic, it’s worth doing for its own sake. Keep on keeping on. xox

  10. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

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