It’s September, and I am making plans for Christmas. Ha ha! Yeah, that’s pretty typical of me. I’m the kind of person who buys gifts throughout the year to spread the cost and take advantage of sales. My children’s birthdays are in the middle of the year, so the first half of the year I buy birthday presents and the second half of the year I buy Christmas presents.
This year we’re not buying Christmas presents. We’re saving to go overseas next year for my sister’s wedding, so if they do get anything, it’s going to be passports. And next year for their birthdays they’ll get plane tickets. Which is more than enough, right? But Christmas is a big deal in our family, and I have an idea…
In 2012 I did National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where you’re challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month. It was madness, but I managed to write 30,000 words of a children’s fantasy novel. It stars my children, my nephew and my godchildren, and a variety of mythical creatures. The plan was to write a story that would challenge my children’s reading abilities while still being appropriate for their age and maturity. See, my kids are both ‘gifted’, particularly in English, and both have reading levels well in advance of their peers. This made it hard to find books that were at or slightly above their reading level but not too advanced in subject matter (such as sex or violence). So my plan was to write something that used big words, was educational to an extent (my son was obsessed with mythical creatures at the time), but didn’t contain any material that wasn’t suitable for their level of maturity.
I intended to give it to my kids as a gift, but I never finished it. Each year I’d remember about it, but I’d procrastinate and not get it done. The kids in the story are 11 and 7 years old, and my kids are now 16 and 12. Still, I want to finish it, and the sooner I give it to them, the better. I mean, better at 16 and 12 than 32 and 28, right?
I’m going to handwrite the story into journals, one each for my kids and my nephew. See, the story centers around a handwritten journal, so it seems apt. To encourage me to stop procrastinating, on Friday I bought three journals.
I think they’ll make neat Christmas presents. Can you tell which one is for my daughter? Ha ha!
I’ve written eight chapters so far (on the computer), but in the story the kids are trying to work out how many more adventures they can go on before the journal is full. So I think I should handwrite in the completed chapters and adapt the story so that it ends at the end of the journal. The worst thing would be if it was half a dozen pages too long for a single journal!
So yep, that’s what I’m working on at the moment. The first chapter is about a taniwha, which is a dragon unique to New Zealand where we live.