A Pen Name, A Quote, & Two Manuscripts
I arrived in Qatar in June with a detailed to do list. I knew what I needed to accomplish and was ready for the tasks ahead. Five weeks later, as we were leaving the country, I had finished approximately none of them. One week after we arrived in Qatar, we hit our One Year Nomad-iversary. With that benchmark came a slew of questions: What did we think of the last year? What worked? What didn’t go as planned? What turned out better than expected, and what didn’t deliver? Were there any conversations we had over and over? What did we want for the next year? What changes should we make? The answers to those questions took me in a completely different direction. I abandoned the things on my pre-Middle Eastern to do list and gave myself room to figure out what I needed to do next. Ultimately, we changed everything. After assessing the last year and looking ahead, we realigned with our priorities and made some important decisions. We have decided to pivot our travel (as announced in a recent blog post on howtobeanomad.com), and I ended up diving headfirst into a brand new project and finished nearly 1/4th of a manuscript in less than a week, in addition to doing a lot of painting. This new project is turning out to be the longest book I have ever written, with a rough draft I expect to weigh in at about 90,000 words. It’s in a genre I haven’t written in before, which isn’t surprising, really. I like to dabble, and I expect I will continue to do so probably until I die. However, I feel like my C.M. Cox name is getting crowded. It’s hard to know what to expect, now that I have published science fiction, fantasy, prose, poetry, and nonfiction under that name. I feel that not everything I write appeals to everyone who follows the page. To keep things from becoming cluttered and confusing, I’ve decided to take this new project up under a pen name. This new pen name will encompass all writing targeted specifically for women: romance, chick lit, etc. Men are still invited to read it, of course, but these books will be written primarily for a female audience. In addition to the manuscript I have underway, I have decided to start posting a second story under this new pen name on Wattpad. If you have not heard of this website, it is a free community for writers and readers in which writers share their work one chapter at a time. Anyone, even non-members, can read Wattpad stories for free. Within the next two or three weeks I expect to debut the pen name and first chapter or two of the Wattpad story, so ladies stay tuned! In the meantime, I find myself highly motivated by the Lewis Carroll quote, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Stained glass photo taken in Oxford, England. Bonus points for everyone who spots the Alice in Wonderland theme.)