Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Meet my girl. This is June."


{The story of my novel in journal entries}


     June {it was actually January, but I wrote June!!} 21

     So, June Darling! It's coming along swimmingly. Not fast, I didn't say that -- swimmingly.

     JANUARY 27

     Oliver is my writing buddy. It's great because all he does is lie there and sleep.

     Poor June. Nothing's going right for her. Maybe that's why she's such fun to write -- in June, I can express all my own personal awkwardness in a breezy, funny, but still heartfelt way.

    Maybe that's what writing is.


     January 28

     I got the writing bug last night. It came on me all of a sudden, like a rushing tide coming to a head. I could have gotten up and done something about it, but it was almost midnight and I was tired and didn't want to stay up (therefore I suppose I must be a terrible writer, unable to act on impulse.) BUT I knew it would still be there in the morning when I woke up -- and it was. I have allllll day to fulfill my dreams. :-)


     February 6

     June is now in Cotton Valley experiencing her first-ever redneck bingo tournament. But what happens next? Will Aunt Viola win the jackpot? If she does, what will she spend it on? Hey, that could be a good premise -- Aunt Viola wins a ton of money and decides what to do with it. And then a movie-making team can come through town while shooting a movie, and one of the camera men will take June out on a date. (She's seventeen, I think Aunt Viola will let her go.)
     But what about Hudson? We still haven't figured out what he's up to. All I know is it's something slightly shady, but ultimately for someone's good. Hudson is trying to help someone.
     But who? How? Why?


Aunt Viola's window:

     February 10

     It's a strange plot, yes. But it's a strange town.


     February 14

     Things are dragging a little bit. June is getting tired. We need to get her excited again.
     Mr. Sweeney tells them of his plan -- "Think on it, will you?" -- and they go home. June takes a bath, and at the same time Levi Buford shows up with a catch of fish for Miss Viola. (OH NO! Is he a fly fisherman? Dang it, now he's gonna have to look like Brad Pitt. I wanted him to look like {insert name of person I know who I don't want to name on this blog}). 


     February 21

     In the bleak midwinter, because midwinter can be BLEAK.
     ....but it's summer in Louisiana! That's what I love about writing - you always have two lives going. If you don't like one, you can jump into the other one.


     March 11

     You know those moments of divine inspiration, where you get a flash of an idea and then all of a sudden everything comes rushing to you all at once, and you know exactly what you're going to write, just like that, almost as if God himself was sprinkling those little nuggets of golden inspiration upon your heart?!
     Yeah. I live for those moments.
     I really do. They are the reason I'm still a writer. They are also the reason I'm writing this so fast, because I can't wait to get to my writing notebook and flesh out the plan. I know where Hudson and June are going now -- it's all going to happen. GOLLY PETE THIS IS EXCITING!!! Now I can't wait for tomorrow -- I can't wait for the next instant -- the next moment to write. This is my jam. This is what I'm meant to be doing.


     March 16

     Maybe June Darling is unlikely. Maybe it's even unbelievable. But I'm this far into it, I don't reckon I can stop now.


     March 21

     No Cary Grant. He's too suave. It's James Cagney. James Cagney is much more normal-person.


     March 24

     Who was the person who said the thing about writing being like sitting down and banging your head against the keyboard?
     They were right.
     MAAAAAAAN. For the past few days it's just been like trying to eat peas with a fork.


     April 1

     I finished my novel today! Just kidding.


James Cagney & Loretta Young
Then I found this gif and thus, Hudson has a face.

     April 2

     So....where to begin with the ending?


     April 8 it's snowing again. But I don't seem to mind a whole lot, actually. It is gorgeous. And today I feel like staying in and delving into June Darling. Which oh by the way IS LITERALLY ALMOST DONE. I mean, SO close. So close I can taste the victory. So close I'm actually kinda scared to finish it. Because I don't want to say goodbye -- I love them all. I've loved being with them, and I don't want it all to end. Gosh, I never thought I'd say that.

     Here are some things I will always remember about writing June Darling:
  • the October Sky soundtrack! That stuff is gold.
  • the Field of Dreams soundtrack, for the baseball bits ;-P
  • frenzied notes in Naomi's heart notebook
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • writing evenings with Brett and Ashton
  • the Perfect Pairs book from Rachel -- my main source of research, haha
  • googling weird things like 'when was bingo invented'
  • taking writing breaks to read Melissa Tagg's blog

     April 13 // a great day -- an AMAZING day.

     I think I may have just finished my first novel.

     *gasps for air*

     No, it's true. I just did. I finished my first novel. I wrote a BOOK! A real, honest-to-goodness novel, and it's 238 pages long, and it's silly and unrefined and probably ridden with mistakes, but I wrote it and it is mine. I and I absolutely love it to death.

     Four months, a hundred hours, six Google documents, lots and lots of October Sky soundtrack, many long afternoons of blessed seclusion with just me and my characters, many prayers, many chats with Naomi, many long brain-scouring sessions while folding laundry, and now I've written a book.

     I HAVE WRITTEN A BLOOMING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


// June Darling //
a novel

Emma Jane Anderson

"Truth is stranger than fiction."
~ Cary Grant, My Favorite Wife

{Edit: Someone *ahem* asked if I had prettied these journal entries up for this post, because they sounded too pretty to be original. Well, they are -- I didn't pretty them up. These is the originals.} ;-)



    238 pages. wow.... I WANNA READ. ;)

    I loved how you incorporated your journal entries! So realistic!! LOL

    1. YES I WROTE A NOVEL!!!!! Pinch me!!!

      It's not too long...not really an adult-novel-length, but that's okay, because I think it's more like YA fiction anyway. And besides THAT DOESN'T MATTER. It it what it is and it's mine and I wrote it and I couldn't be happier. ;-)

      Thanks! You got a peek inside my mind, haha.

  2. Aah I'm so happy for you!!! Congratulations!! I loved seeing your progress of writing through journal entries. Are you going to put excerpts on the blog sometime? If you were to publish would be one of the handful of times I've ever bought something online! :)

    1. Thanks Abby!!!! Hmmm, I don't know -- sometimes I really like the idea of putting up excerpts (because I am dyyyying to share the story with someone) but on the other hand, I don't want to spoil things before I actually get it published and it's out there for everyone to read. So I don't know yet. Ask me again later. ;-)

      Aww, I'm flattered! I hope you can buy it someday. (WOW THE THOUGHT OF SOMEONE BUYING MY BOOK. I think that's the first time it's really hit me. WOW.)

  3. Congratulations, Emma! I'm so proud of you girl! You WROTE A NOVEL. Like, WUT :)

    1. THANK YOU ROSIE! I can't help but be a little proud of myself too. (Just a little, y'know.) Yeah, right -- WUT. I'm still in happy shock.

  4. EMMA!! You did it! You did it!! Ooooh!!! I'm SO excited for you! Congratulations! This is AWESOME!!

    And those snippets from your journal. My word, girl! You have SUCH a way with words. Just beautiful. (I won't say I'm not a little bit jealous...heehee. ;))

    Three cheers for Emma! Hurrah, Hurrah, HURRAH!! :D

    1. Yes, I did it!!! I'm so excited too!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH. :-D

      Aww, thanks! That's so sweet of you. Well, it's a good thing I have a way with words, because they're my love and my life and hopefully someday my livelihood. If I didn't I'd be in trouble.

      *tears* THANK YOU.




    *takes deep breath and tries to calm down*

    Congratulations, dear!! We're SO proud of you!!!!! :-)

    1. I DID I DID!!!!!


      Thank you so much, Jessica!

  6. There's tons of other things I should be doing right now, but I just HAD to sit down and write a quick comment.

    'Cause I mean, duh, you just finished your book. No big deal, I guess...

    No actually it's a very big deal!!! YOU FINISHED JUNE DARLING!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! You must feel so happy!! :D :D :D

    I'm sure you've put lots of hard work into this (and I'm sure your story is 10 times better than mine), so you totally deserve it. :) (How are you planning on congratulating yourself? My guess would be watching Poldark, right? ;P) But that's SO EXCITING. I'm DYING to read it!!! (Actually, I just wanted to point something out... maybe you were wondering why I haven't jumped up and down and excitedly volunteered to beta-read it for you, if you needed some extra people. Well, I'd DEARLY love to read your book, Emma, and that's a fact. However, I don't think I'm a good enough writer to actually help you with YOUR writing - to actually critique your writing when you know way more about it than I do. ;) So that's the reason why I haven't done so - because I think there are other people who would do it better than I. Just don't forget that I'm still super eager to read it. :D)

    I love the fact that you wrote this up in journal entries. Very clever. :) (My journal entries are ridiculously long compared to yours, haha. Mine go on for pages... :P)

    This is just spine-tingling exciting! It really drives me to work harder at my projects, now. :)

    To sum it all up, YOU GO GIRL! *high-five* *hugs*

    ~Miss Meg

    1. YES IT IS A BIG DEAL!!! It is a huge deal! I am DROWNING in happiness. ;-)

      Yes, I did put a lot of work into it -- not a whole lot of research or a whole lot of re-writing, but still it was hard sometimes. And it IS the first actual book I've finished, so that in itself feels like conquering a huge mountain! Your excitement makes me so happy. :-) And yes, of course I'd love for you to read it! I don't know when (so far no one has read it, I'm still going to do some editing first before any other eyes see it) but mark my words, when I get it published, you shall have a free copy. :-)

      Oh, honey, I have no doubt your thoughts on it would be valuable to me! Even if you don't feel your skills are that developed (and I have no reason to believe they're not as good as my own, btw), simply the view of another writer would be helpful! I haven't really thought about beta-reading yet. I know I want to get it published, but I'm still looking into how even to START with that, so it'll probably be awhile before anything's set. For right now I'm basking in my victory.

      Haha, believe me, these are only snippets of some of my journal entries...they can be VERY long. (Or very short. Sometimes just three or four words. I wrote a journal entry once that was two words. Okay, now I'm really digressing...)

      To sum it all up, THANK YOU! *returns hug* *wipes tears*

    (And your journal entries are way too beautiful to be real. Please tell me you made them prettier for the blog post. Because if you didn't I envy your journalling skills. :-P)

    1. I KNOW RIGHT.

      HA. Well, they are real, believe it or not. Some of them are just snippets (because spoilers) but they're all original. I didn't beautify them. But don't envy my journalling skills. It's not healthy to have envy.)

      I'm going to send you JD soon, you know. Just as soon as I can calm myself down enough to edit. You MUST read it.

  8. Emma,
    This is the happiest bit of news I've heard in ages!!! I'm deeply glad for you, my friend!

    I loved your list of things that will always remind you of writing it!

    A Year Down Yonder: one of the most crazy/adorable stories ever! My favorite bit is where the random girl describes the heroine's brother as looking like Tyrone Power, that part always makes me giggle as it's so vivid and I think I might go slightly silly too if I saw someone who looked like him. :)

    Hudson looks like James Cagney - I LOVE HIM ALREADY!!! James Cagney is truly one of my favorite actors/people EVER! You are a wise girl to choose him for your hero. :)

    1. Eowyn, THANK YOU! :-)

      Ohhhh, I know. I love that book so terribly much. And yes, that part made me giggle too. (I think my favorite part, though, is when Grandma starts up the tractor in that guy's barn and drives it into the tree so the pecans fall off. THAT is classic.)

      You know, I've never actually seen a James Cagney movie, but just from seeing pictures of him I knew he was going to be my Hudson-face. I like how he's not really typically handsome.


  10. YOU WROTE A NOVEL!!! Come over and let me give you cake. *beams*

    Darn it, Emma, now I have a craving to read June Darling!

    1. I DID!!! Can you believe it? Cuz I still can't!! (Oh, and thank you muchly for the cake.)

      You don't even know how happy that makes me. :-)

  11. I'm finally getting around to commenting on this!! Sorry for the delay. :(
    I LOVE this post! Your book sounds absolutely adorable and lovely and....I can't wait to read it one day. I bet it'll be amazing. :)

    ps. Isn't "My Favorite Wife" adorable?? I'm so glad you've seen it! :D


      I can't wait for you to read it either! That will be so amazing. :-) And yes, I LOVE My Favorite Wife. We just watched it again recently before I finished the book and I knew I wanted to use that quote in the book, because it fits PERFECTLY.

    2. :D You are so welcome!!

      Yes!! I'm sure I'll love it. :D

      Hahaha, I'm glad it's a favorite. I can't wait to see how that quote fits into the book. :)

  12. First, congratulations! You wrote a novel :-)

    Second, this part made me laugh aloud: It's a strange plot, yes. But it's a strange town.

    NO idea what that precisely means in relation to your story, but it tickled me nonetheless :-)

    1. Thank you so much! I KNOW. I DID IT. :-)

      Haha, well, it's very true. At times while writing it I thought, "can I really do that? Will that work?" because some of the story is just so weird. But I ended up going with it. ;-P Have you ever seen the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? That's pretty much how June Darling is. It's one crazy escapade after another.

    2. I've seen OBWAT several times, and definitely dig its quirkyness. "We thought. You was. A Tooooooooooooooooooooad." My word, it makes me laugh. Love the soundtrack too! Crazy escapades can be such fun :-)

    3. Yup. Me too. :-) I bought the soundtrack for Sadie last summer and now we listen to it while driving around in our big red diesel.


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