Birthing a Book

My Writing Buddy

My Writing Buddy

I’ve been working on redoing a book since early January.  I wrote this book many years ago (I won’t tell you how many) and set it aside as a learning experience.  But the characters and the general setting always stayed with me, urging me to pull that “baby” from its folder, and work on that love story again.


So I chose it.  Because it insisted.  Because Tony and Gaby never left my heart.  Because I wanted a project that would be not take months and months to finish.  Why should the time matter? 

Because I was stalled on the writing project I had been working on.  I decided I needed to let that latter project set awhile.  Like a great stew or soup it needed more time to simmer and blend the flavors.  Besides, I don’t believe in writer’s block.  J

So I pulled out Seasons as I soon started to refer to it.

First, I changed the setting, only a bit.  Next, the ages of the characters changed. A lot. The heroine, Gabrielle or Gaby, became one of MJ’s wise women.  In other words, a smart woman, on the sagging side of 40 who’s facing the need for some personal growth other than at her waistline.  Then the love of her life enters and gives her more to think about than the sorrows that have driven her and the isolation she’s built around herself as protection for her heart and psyche.

He’s fearless, Tony is.  A traditional man with a controlled temper who’s loved his vineyard more than any woman—until Gaby blows into his life.  They’re both used to being alone and having life as they like it, but they can’t ignore the sizzling attraction they feel.  So their paths to finding that happy ending is their story.

What’s  the best?  Their happy ending is literally just around my corner, or in the next few chapters.  J


I realized this past week as I could’t quit writing each day because words were flowing so well and the story was rushing toward its end, that this stage of writing has similarities to the times I was pregnant. (Yes, I can remember back to that time.) The due date was a few weeks away.  My squirming baby wanted “out” and pummeled me from my tonsils downward.  During that time, I lumbered around, finishing up errands, cleaning house, doing extra laundry, making and freezing extra meals, all so I would be ready when the due date arrived.

Sleeping was difficult, too, as “baby” kept active at night. L


Like back then, I’m not sleeping much at night.  Tony and/or Gaby keep popping into my dreams and pummeling my thoughts.  During the day I’m in my office at my keyboard getting their lives in order and making their story the best I can in order to bring it to the world, show it off and wait for acceptance or not from those who read it.  Exactly like a mother waits anxiously for the praise, coos, and joy she sees others give her newborn.

And like a mother who would never believe her baby anything less than perfect, so I will love my Seasons, my “perfect” baby.  One I prepared for, labored for, have loved since forever.

Perhaps next week, I can announce a birth.  J

Explore posts in the same categories: Photos, Uncategorized, Writing

7 Comments on “Birthing a Book”

  1. Edie Says:

    Mary Jo, if your writing in your book is as good as the writing in your blog, this is going to be an awesome read! You have a lovely, lyrical voice.

    I have a few books I’d like to rewrite. Maybe some day I will.

  2. Edie Says:

    BTW, your writing buddy is a cutie!

  3. Casey/Mary Jo Says:

    Hey, Edie,

    I’ll save that quote of my writing being lyrical. Hold it in my heart forever. You’re so sweet and dynamite. Thanks for stopping by.

    And I love my writing buddy. she’s got her bed right next to my desk and spends lots of time watching me. She understands when “mommy” says “work”, there’s no playing or requesting anything unless it’s a serious potty call. 🙂 She’s better than my kids were.

    When I’m stuck on something, I generally have Oreo in my lap and I’m talking it through to my hubby while I’m petting Oreo. She always cocks her ear as if everything I say is soooo important.

    And do please get Kristan Hannah’s Firefly Lane. She’s magical with words. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Back to writing.

  4. Ana Aragón Says:


    It sounds like a great story! The heroine in my first published novel was Gaby (short for Gabriela!)

    Also read the story of your grandparents the previous blog posting. What a wonderful way to remember them…


  5. Casey/Mary Jo Says:

    Hi Ana,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Just this past summer my nephew and his wife had a baby girl. Imagine my surprise when they named her Gabrielle as I had chosen that name many years ago for this book.

    How many books do you have published now?

  6. You described the urgency perfectly. Even in the midst of figuring out how to promote my first published book, I’m in it right now. Not with a rewrite, but with a story that began with a great hook.

    A woman stands in the snowy darkness, waiting for a man to leave his home so she can break into it. Her mission is to retrieve something that once belonged to her grandmother, a document hidden in an old piece of furniture that had been sold at an antique shop.

    Once I’d written that much, I started waking up in the middle of the night and imagining another man watching her, a man with a gun who slips into the house right behind her.

    At first I wasn’t sure what the document was, but last night I figured it out.

    Writing is fun–and addictive!

  7. Hi, Anne,

    Thanks for stopping by and I love your encapsulated scene. Now for the rest of the story. 🙂

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