Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Unpublished Books--Day 8 #UltimateBlogChallenge

I happened to miss a day, and I know  I will from time to time, but this has been a fantastic challenge for me. This is Day 8 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  It is kind of strange to be writing about this because it has been ages since I thought about it, but here goes.

When I was twelve years old, I began writing a book.  I was a lover of Anne of Green Gables.  It is still one of my favorite book series, and it was this book coupled with a Little House on the Prairie episode where a woman became a doctor that led to my yet-unpublished book Doctor Jane.  Honestly, this was before Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  I remember asking my mom about why women couldn't become doctors, and for some reason, that stuck with me.  Also, the idea of having a physical feature that caused people to pick on you (like Anne Shirley's red hair) began to formulate a character--Jane Nolan.

Now, this was not the first time I had ever written anything.  I think my first poem was written in fourth grade:

"Eyes are so useful,
They're not at all toothful.
Noses are fun
Though you can't do them up in a bun.
Mouths were made for singing,
They were not made for clinging.
And that's the face.
Please don't put it in a case.,"

I had teachers that instilled the love of reading and writing within me.  And so I began to write all sorts  of stories.  They usually starred me meeting famous people, and they also featured orphans.  After all, I was a little Orphan Annie want-to-be, too.  I had read about children writing books, so why not me?

So I made up this character named Jane Nolan.  She had black eyes and blacker-than-black hair.  She was an orphan, and she had a terrible life.  Anthony and Mary Embrey, a very wealthy Southern couple, adopted her, and it was one pitfall after another.  They lived in Moss Point, Mississippi.  It's a real place--look it up.   Any time someone spoke disparagingly of her hair and  eyes, she went ballistic.  Worse than Anne Shirley ever thought of being!  She  had one friend (based on my next-door neighbor), and her name was Rosalee, if I remember right.  Yes, I used to read "name books," too, as I hunted for names for my characters.  She was a Catholic, and her parents forbade her to spend time with her.

As you can imagine, Anthony and Mary grew to love their new daughter (and she them).  And then she met Curtis Lloyd.  He was a horrid boy who fell in love with her at first sight.  But he was a "Gilbert Blythe" take-off, and so it was a long time before they realized their love.  After all, he left her standing in a rainstorm as a mean joke (always one of my favorite scenes in the story).  I was also a reader of the thesaurus, so my book was peppered with words that were way above my years.

Jane Nolan grew to be an incredibly intelligent woman who left home (and the man she loved) to become an ophthalmologist.  I had all sorts of eye problems (still do), and so it was natural for me to pick this medical field.  This girl studied at all the prestigious universities of the day--Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard.  I did incredible research (I used to read encyclopedias, too--I was a strange child) concerning the admittance of women to these schools in the 1800's, and so Jane was forced to spend a lot of time studying to become a doctor.  She had all sorts of dates during this time--often based on teachers, pastors, and more--who dropped her like a hot potato once they found out she wanted to become a doctor.

When she was in her 30's, she finally opened her own practice.  She operated on the eyes of the wife of President Benjamin Harrison (if I remember right--I remember I was not impressed with having to use a president that I didn't like in the story),and her practice suddenly took off.  And Curtis Lloyd (who had become a lawyer) showed up with some kind of unusual eye complaint.  Of course, Dr. Jane Nolan had developed all sorts of innovations in ophthalmology that no one else knew about, and she saved his vision through a risky operation.  And at the age of 36, she gave up her practice  to become Mrs. Jane Lloyd.

I am amazed I can remember all of this.  I was dead serious about publishing this book.  For one of my birthdays, I even requested (and received) a big book about  the Writer's Market with all the publishing companies listed and more.  Does this really sound all that crazy?  I typed the book up, but I never got around to sending it in.  I wrote a sequel--Mother Jane.  In that one, she had a total of six children.  Yes, a set of twins and triplets and one very risky pregnancy later on in life.  I began writing Grandmother Jane as the final installment, but I never finished that book.  I had it all figured out, including one of her adult children who died in some kind of tornado or hurricane.  I had such fun writing about the interactions between Jane and Curtis--they acted just like kids.  I suppose theirs was the perfect marriage I never had.

I began other books.  The Conquering Lawyer about a woman who becomes a lawyer and falls in love with her district attorney.  I always longed to finish that one, but I struggled somehow.  I have all sorts of stories, but I dd better when I wrote longer books.  Dr. Jane was about 359 or 369 pages.  I can be extremely verbose, and I love to be descriptive.

The question is--will I ever publish these books?  Probably not.  One of these days, maybe I can  go back and read them.  I think my finished book of Dr. Jane underwent three writes.  And Mother Jane had two writes.  Writing  has almost always been a passion of mine.

So now you know that I could be an author if I wanted to be.  But for now, I plan to continue to read and promote other authors' works.  I could write a whole other post about all the plays I have written, but those are much more personal.  Maybe I'll tell you about them one day in the future.


  1. I'd be very interested in reading them if you ever do get them published. :-)

  2. This would be an interesting read. If they are published please let me know.

  3. I would LOVE to see you published Ruth! I would totally read your books!

  4. that is really neat. I hope someday you will publish your books


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