Archive for Research

Yes, keep the stories coming

To answer a few questions–

Yes, I will still be reading and thinking and using comments throughout the writing of the book, so still leave your stories! Women will be joining the fictional pregnancy loss group throughout the novel, and they will all need a history of some sort.

I have outlined the first five chapters or so and developed seven characters.

Yes, I will be putting scenes from the book here on the blog throughout November. The first bit will go up around 3 a.m. November 1! I can safely put up the entire first chapter and quite a few other scenes without harming my chances of publishing it later.

And no, I will not be looking for an agent until I am close to done. I have to make sure I know where the story is going for sure before I can write an accurate synopsis for a query letter. That is my plan for January. I should have the book at least half written by Dec. 1, then I will work on it more slowly in December and January, then seek representation for it. It will be important to keep the blog stats high, though, to show support for the book and a market for the initial print run. That’s where you guys help!

Can you believe that I’ve had 36,000 words posted here in the comments? I have compiled each and every one in a Word file for my reference. That’s incredible!

I love you ladies. I really truly do.

Visions and Retelling

I’ve been told many amazing stories on this blog in this last month. I have made a database of the ideas, moments, and scenes that seem to fit with the direction the book is going. I may not use them all, and certainly as I build an entire scene with fictional characters in fictional situations, the details will change. In that process, you might see a seed of your story but it will certainly be altered to no longer sound like your story anymore.

However, this is your opportunity to email me and say–please don’t even use the idea I gave you.

I will honor it, although realize that some things in the novel might end up sounding like something that happened to you even if I totally made it up out of my head. But if it’s here in this list, and you would like to avoid seeing anything that triggers your past in my book, please say it here, now. You may do so via email rather than publicly, of course, as with any concern.

If there is an asterisk by the story, it is already in the first section of the novel outline, so it is likely to be used.

Aftermath

  • Women gets call from a nurse months after lost baby to check on her pregnancy.
  • *Went camping after loss and passed clots. Wasn’t sure what to do so burned it in a clump of sage brush.
  • *Jumped in car after leaving hospital as if trying to outrun something.

Obsessions

  • Feels like she can still see the spot on the floor where baby fell out and landed on tile.
  • When a family member with five kids had her tubes tied, she had a party
  • Read medical bills over and over.
  • Opened Bible randomly to pages to see if God had a message for her.
  • Thinks of baby as an adult and examines young men to see if they look as he might have.
  • *Kept placenta in freezer for two years.
  • Unable to even watch a movie with a baby in it without walking out.

Insensitivity

  • When asked for progesterone, doctor told her flat out–baby is dead.
  • Close friend named her living baby the name she had chosen for her angel.
  • Minister came from vacation with a vial of gold and told her God was purifying her with pain like the gold, and that God had told him to tell her that.

Kindnesses

  • Sister sent mother’s day card from two babies.

Scenes

  • Incompetent cervix, when got to hospital, baby’s foot already descended into canal.
  • Mother’s Day church is awkward when they call moms to stand or receive gifts. Wasn’t sure if she was considered a mother or not.
  • Her friends got to choose the moment their baby died, as it had a genetic problem and was dying already. Heard the heartbeat until it stopped.
  • A temporary worker came 5 months after loss and patted her belly and asked how the baby was. Thought her overweight was the baby.
  • Had to go to abortion clinic for late term removal of Turner’s. Had a hard time getting into stirrups and doctor chose that moment to tell her she needed to get in shape as she was overweight.
  • Lit a spiral of tea candles for her babies. They all went out one by one except for two, which burned longer than the other ones, but when they went out she cried and cried for her two babies.
  • *Lost baby at friend’s house. Friend brought a grocery bag to put it in the garbage. A few days later, she became obsessed with the sac. Convinced it was not empty, but baby in there. In middle of night wanted to go garbage and dig it out even though it was summer.
  • Took a bath to relieve cramps and baby came out and floated in the water. Saw spongy outer chorion and inside a curved pinkish baby.

Family

  • *Ex wife cheated on husband and left, they had two kids. Ex wife treats her like a babysitter. Felt inferior after lost baby. Ex wife heartless bringing up topic of babies at kid activities. Became jealous and hateful toward husband because he had kids. Misplaced anger on stepdaughter, who is 6, saw evil mother in her, then realized little girl was hurting over loss of baby. They ended up making scrapbook together.
  • *Felt bitter about stepdaughter, wondered if her baby would have looked as much like the father as this one did. People would say at least they had the stepdaughter.
  • Husband felt his lack of religion caused the baby’s loss and decided to go to church more.

I appreciate so much the insight and information you have given me. In my next entry I will introduce the characters–especially the main ones Melinda, Dot, Stella, and Tina– and at midnight Halloween, as the date switches to November, I will start writing the novel. I am committed to writing the first 50,000 words, about 2/3 of the book, in the next 30 days.

Thank you for coming along for the ride!