It’s been a long, rough year. Last year was a long, rough year. Some of you who follow me may have noticed I haven’t been quite as prolific as when I first started publishing. Between a lot of personal stuff and grad school, I sort of fell into the trap of taking my writing, and even writing itself, a little too seriously. It stopped being fun. Some days I had a rough time while writing. That’s going to happen no matter what your job is and how much you love it. For me, even the thought of writing became a downer and exhausting. With everything I’ve been learning in grad school, I began to super over-think my process and the words as I was putting them down on paper. I needed to do something to change this, or I was going to have to rethink this whole writing as a career thing.
And then we started coming up on NaNoWriMo 2017. NaNoWriMo is short for, National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I figured it was a perfect time to try and reignite the fun and passion for my writing. So, despite grad school and deadlines for other works with publishers, I was going to try my hand at NaNoWriMo. I wouldn’t have a plan. I wouldn’t come up with characters, a plot, or even a genre. I would sit down at 12:01 am on November 1st and start writing. Just see what came out of the dark recesses of my imagination without caring about publishing or quality or anything above having a good time telling myself a story.
The title came from a slip of the tongue at one of the NaNoWriMo kick-off meet and greets in my area. One of the traditional write-in gatherings during November happens Monday nights at a Panera Bread on the corner of Sunrise and Greenback. On of the NaNoWriMo liaisons in the area said it was on the corner of Greenrise and Sunback. I nabbed those for character names. A few days later, I had a title just pop into my head. The Slightly Above Average Misadventures of Greenrise and Sunback. Still, I kept myself from thinking about these two characters in any context other than those last names, and I refused to pick a genre.
I also decided that to keep the story fresh, even after I’d started and had a genre, kind of a plot, and even a few characters, that I would write it Choose Your Own Adventure style, and let readers occasionally vote on where the story should go next, as well as other aspects of the story. Seemed like a lot of fun to do it that way, and I was looking to have fun with it.
On Halloween, after taking my daughter trick or treating, I sat at my desk, awaiting the hour when I would finally put the first words to digital paper, I saw an awesome YouTube video. Wayne Brady covering Michael Jackson’s Thriller with Post Modern Juke Box.
Watching this made me want to write something wacky, zany, strange, exciting, fun, and all the qualities of books and movies that I loved as a kid, the things that made me want to be a writer in the first place. So, I’ve started the book. You can read the first couple chapters on my Patreon page, starting here with Chapter One. Right now, I envision it as a kind of Goonies meets Fringe mashup. If you decide to check it out, I hope you have as much fun reading it as I am having fun writing it.