This month is National Novel Writing Month, and I have been participating since 2006. However, several days have gone by and I haven't been able to write. Maybe I can't. Maybe I won't. Maybe the words just aren't there. Sometimes it is hard to tell. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you the beginnings of a great project, quite possibly the most difficult that I have ever attempted.
Since I came to North Palm Beach in January, I have had this story knocking around in my head. I have been toying around with various character ideas and studying Florida frontier life. I went to a lecture on the Second Seminole War at one of the battlegrounds, I have spoken with civil war re-enactors, and I have been bouncing my ideas off a few older friends. I think I have settled on the year 1890 for my setting. So the author of Taking 1960 has decided to "take" 1890 as well.
When most people think of Florida, they think of Disney, Orlando and Daytona Beach. When I first came here, I didn't think that Florida had much of a history. I'm in the middle of a cultural melting pot, and I said to myself, “How can there be a real history here? Where is it?” So rather than write it off completely (excuse the pun), I began to dig. And the more I dug, the more I discovered.
The first “cowboys” were in Florida. The Spanish brought horses, cows and pigs to this place before they were brought anywhere else. And the people who lived in the wilderness and worked to find a better future were called crackers—the true definition of a cracker is nothing even close to what people think of it today.
One could go on and on about the beginnings of the state, and the bravery of the Seminoles who refused to give up their land to the whites. There's a lot of tragedy in these stories, especially if you delve into the history of the natives who lived here, who were forced out of their homes and into the West.
My story will focus on a girl, Muireann, and her new life in Florida. She comes here and doesn't fit in, because she's dealing with a horrible secret. And soon she discovers that the only person she can really relate to is an Indian man, whose friendship becomes a part of the support system that will save her life.
Through this story, I intend to show my readers how horribly the Seminoles were treated, and what it might have been like for a woman whose circumstances nearly destroy her psychologically. Now, if I could only get writing . . .
I'll let you know when I do!
Learn more about my novel, Taking 1960, by visiting my website.