It’s that time again–when the dog days of summer have finally ended and you want to put on some socks and sit at your computer with a nice cup of hot tea. I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month! In November, many writers spur each other on to complete a novel in thirty days with local and virtual write-ins and events. I have participated two other times, but have yet to come out the other side with an honest-to-goodness complete novel, or even one I cared to keep working on beyond November 30th. This year I have a much more solid plan for the first in a series of young adult novels that I’m very excited to write.

My long-term plan, in a nutshell, is to create books and book-related products for children and parents who want more from their children’s education so they can:

  • foster a love of reading,
  • learn not to be afraid of big ideas,
  • think critically, and
  • dive deeper into important primary texts.

This introductory novel is the first of many things to come within that mission. In each subsequent book in this series, our heroine will resurrect a great thinker from history who will help her piece together truths about how to overcome tyranny, what makes a just society, how to be an ideal citizen of the world, and how to start rebuilding the world she lives in.

Here’s a brief synopsis of what I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo:

A young girl lives in a police state in which books no longer exist. Her parents were the last of a generation of people who knew how to farm the traditional way, with soil and seeds. And they were the last of the literates. They secretly passed down to their daughter the knowledge of every book they could remember by telling stories connected to animal characters that they had crocheted.

Her mom was killed in the resistance, and her dad tries to teach the girl everything he knows before the year’s end, before they’re caught, and before his daughter starts to remember that he was killed in the resistance, too.

You see, the little girl has the power to resurrect one person from the dead for one year. She had wished for them to come back, but didn’t know her own gift. Now she must make the most of her power. Now that her parents are truly gone, who can she bring back? Who can guide her? Who can help bring about the change her world desperately needs?

It sounds cheezy to condense it down like that, but there’s a whole world left to unpack. I’m excited to see what unfolds when I commit to writing an average of 1,660 words per day over the next thirty days. In the words of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, “This is it. Don’t get scared now.”

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