Trapped in the Belly of a Whale

My writing has taken on a life of its own, thus, like Jonah I find myself trapped in the belly of a whale. I need to figure a way out of my dilemma or I will drown in words. #Nanowrimo #writing #adventure blogs #romance novel

Trapped in the Belly of a Whale

It’s harder to write an adventure blog than I imagined when I first started Molly Shea’s Hen House. The first requirement for an adventure blog is you must have interesting adventures. This concept sounded relatively simple when it was first proposed. Rooster and I aren’t couch potato people. Hence, I didn’t expect to find myself trapped in the belly of a whale.

We love to venture out into the world and experience fresh situations. The key problem with this approach to life is time and money. Neither one of us has retired yet, so a lot of our time is spent working a job. We’re also not wealthy people.

The traveling we do is out of our own pocket. These factors mean we are limited in the distance we can journey to go on a new adventure. In addition, I tend to be a slow writer. I have other projects I’m working on besides my blog posts.

Rooster is my editor

I allow Rooster to read each entry before I post. I feel this is only fair because he is my adventure partner. He’s also the brunt of many of my jokes. (He takes offense every time I mention he’s cheap but must leave it in because it is true.) That means it takes me about a week to construct a decent blog.

Where I came up with my short fiction

Rooster says I need to diversify. I should come up with a plan to get more of my fiction into my blog posts. If I took this strategy, it would save time and money. He’s developed a two-year plan for us to get out of debt before we retire. He has a valid point. I wrote four dozen short stories for my NANoWriMo challenge three years ago. My idea is to dust them off; clean them up a bit and post them when I feel they are ready.

I also will continue my Tecumseh updates. I have a lot of fun writing about the fictional city in Indiana where the characters in my Hen House Series live. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been swallowed by a whale and my only escape is to write myself out of its belly one word at a time.

The romance novel challenge

I’m including an update to my romance novel challenge in this post. I’m about three months away for the first of November, which is the opening day for NaNoWriMo. My reading is coming along nicely. If you will remember, I committed to dedicating my reading for the year to the romance novel.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve read romance novels in the past. I just never attempted to write one. My goal was to read seventy romance novels with a focus on story and character development.  The challenge was then to write a romance novel for NaNoWriMo in 2019.

I’ve made some progress toward my goal. I counted and so far, so far I’ve read sixty romance novels this year. I’ve read paranormal, Christmas, military, erotic, and historical romance novels. The recent authors I’ve read are SS Bazinet, Natasha Blackthorne, Inglath Cooper, and Julia Quinn. I loved SS Bazinet’s Traces of Home. She always writes intriguing stories with a spiritual element, which leads to her character’s emotional healing. I find her writing to be uplifting. This love story proved to hit the right cord for me.

Book Suggestions

I can’t wait for her to finish the second novel in this series. If you want a steamy summer romance, check out Natasha Blackthorne’s Wild, Wicked, and Wanton series. These novels will give you the vapors. Blackthorne writes sex with style and flair. I wasn’t aware people in the 1800s had such exotic sex lives.

I loved the character development in Inglath Cooper’s Nashville Series, and I felt like I knew the couples spotlighted in her books by the time I read the final novel.  Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn became very humorous and entertaining. I’ve started reading Danielle Steele. I figure if I was going to study the romance masters that she should be included. Thus, my reading habits ofter leave me trapped in the belly of a whale in the midst of a sea filled with words.

Vague plot forming

A vague plot is forming in the back of my mind for my NaNoWriMo project. The characters are taking shape as I journey through the year. The protagonist will be named Olivia. Her love interest will be named Travis. It sounds like a good name for a small-town country guy. They dated in high school. It ended badly. They run into each other again 10 years later on 96th Street while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is passing by.

He’s in the city to sell a prosthetic device he created to a company that manufactures medical devices. The important part of the deal is he’s trying to persuade the company to use the abandoned automobile plant in his hometown to manufacture the improved model of the prosthetic limb. This is important to the economy of the town where Olivia grew up. Travis has a problem. He needs a wife to give him the look of stability. He doesn’t have one, so he offers to rent Olivia for the holiday season.

I’ll figure it all out by November

I’m sure I will change it around before I sit down at the computer in November to write the story. I’m a panster, so this idea will be all I need to take off on the journey of typing fifty-thousand words in November. The thing I like most about being a panster is watching the book take on a life of its own. It’s always a surprise to watch all the twists and turns that the story will take before I type “the end.”

What I’ve discovered about Romane Novels

The biggest surprise I discovered in my studies of the romance novel is the writer has to inflict emotional turmoil on her characters throughout the course of the book. Just when you think they have come to an understanding and have everything worked out the writer throws in another tragic hurdle they have to climb.

It can get exhausting and heart wrenching reading the pages. What I’ve also observed is the couple has to end up in love at the conclusion of the story. It might not be forever, but at least they are together for a while.

We need a bigger house

Rooster put his foot down. He says I can’t bring home another book until we get a bigger house. I believe he found the stash I keep under the stairs. therefore he claims he’s worried about the foundation of the house, but we all know he’s cheap. Rooster is very unsympathetic about my trapped in the belly of a whale situation. The man could care less if I’m drowning in a sea of words.

It’s not that he wants to discourage me from reading. He claims it’s one of the things he loves about me the most. I will admit I have books stashed everywhere in the house. A trip to Goodwill would remedy the situation, but I can’t bear to part with any of them. I don’t think he’s caught on to the ones I have on my Kindle. It would give him something else to crow about.

My writer’s group

On a more positive note, I’ve joined a local writer’s group. This means I’m forced to submit something to be critiqued once a month. It’s one of the steps I plan to take on my adventure of diversification. I’ll write a short story, have it critiqued, do some editing, and post it on my blog.

Now all I need is a catchy name for the series. I’m excited to start moving in this direction. I need to get back to it now. My circus story isn’t going to write itself. At last count, I’m forty thousand words closer to getting out of the belly of the whale.


Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

2 thoughts on “Trapped in the Belly of a Whale

  1. I really enjoy your articles, Molly, and I admire you for setting a goal and sticking to it. I think you’re going to write a wonderful romance in November.

    Warmest wishes,
    PS Thank so much for your kind mention of Traces of Home!

    1. You are so welome about the mention. Trces of home ws an excellent read. Your Vampire Reclaimation Projects books were a wecome addition to my study in Vampire literature last year. I also highly recomend them.

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