Spotlight #4: A Novel for Sundays

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In Monthly Dares: January 2017, I mentioned that on Sundays I was writing a different novel than Enhanced in order to try to honor the Sabbath more, and today I shall be talking about that novel!

The decision not to write my normal novel on Sundays came…I don’t know, a year or two ago, when I was doing NaNoWriMo. I decided that I wanted to not have to think about it or worry about it on Sundays, and just go to church and spend time with my family. Sometimes, it’s hard not to write when the characters are crowding my head, but I haven’t done it since then.

However, doing the 365k challenge this year posed a problem…if I was to write 1000 words every day, that meant I’d have to write a thousand words on Sunday as well. And so I found this novel that I’d written a prologue and part of a first chapter of beforehand and decided to continue it this year. (See, that way, it doesn’t count as starting a new novel, so I’m not breaking any resolutions.)

It’s a contemporary romance about this independent, stubborn girl (well, adult) named Scarlett, and some of the challenges she has to go through with her faith and life. I’ve read a lot of romances by LDS authors, and while some of them touched on the subject of their faith, I’d never really found one that really showed the progression of faith and how that changed the character–they were all just about the romance.

So this novel was born from me wanting to write something where the main character has to really go through some big spiritual development, with some romance on the side.

Basically the idea is that Scarlett has been running from her life for the past year or two because of a lot of really hard things that all occurred around the same time, and she just felt like she had to get away.

One day, she finds herself back in her home state of Utah, in a little town called Heatherfield, where her old car (lovingly called Miss Must) breaks down in front of a box of zucchini and a house for rent.

A series of “coincidences” occur, and Scarlett finds that everything has fallen in place for her to settle down for a few months in Heatherfield. Throughout her time in the little LDS town, she has to show her resilience and be humbled, to give up her pride and fears and trust in the Lord–and those around her.

It’s about her spiritual journey and how she herself improves, and has to give up things, and try new things, and fix her mistakes, and…I’m really happy about it. I don’t know yet what specific things are going to happen to her, but I love the concept of the novel and that I can include my faith and testimony in it, which is so precious to me.

Since this is a Spotlight, I’m going to include a little excerpt here of one of my favorite parts that I’ve written. It’s by no means polished, but I love its message.



All the way out of Heatherfield, my mind was drawn back to Lane and that old house. It wasn’t that either had been particularly special, but…it was just nice to talk to someone normally again.

Missy started stuttering as I drove past the church. “Don’t you dare break down again, Miss Must.”

Even with me threatening her full name, Missy still shuddered to a halt, just in front of the church where I’d prayed earlier.

I leaned my head against the steering wheel and closed my eyes. “This is it. Next time I can get to a car dealership, I’m going to buy something better than you,” I muttered to Missy.

After I let the threat sink in, I tried the car again. Nothing. I then tried to appease Missy, telling her how much I appreciated her, but nothing worked. What was it Lane had said he’d done? Something about the engine…or maybe the battery? I couldn’t even remember.

I’d learned in primary to pray in situations that seemed hopeless, so I figured it was worth a shot. Heavenly Father, please help Missy to start again so that I can leave. Thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Nothing. Of course it hadn’t worked. It wasn’t like any of my other prayers had ever been answered; why should this one, the smallest of them all, be the one He listened to?

I looked out the window again at the church. On the other side of the street, just an hour ago, I’d sat there and prayed for an answer. I hadn’t seen a vision; I hadn’t heard a voice. I wasn’t even sure if the Spirit had said anything.

But five minutes later, Missy had broken down just in front of Lane’s house, where he’d shown me a house that should have been on sale but the owners were considering renting. And now, just when I was about to leave Heatherfield, Missy had broken down again.

Heavenly Father…? Maybe I shouldn’t even have to ask you this, but…is this the answer to my prayers? Am I supposed to stay in Heatherfield? Is this where I’m supposed to be?

I hadn’t even said “amen” when I felt something a little indescribable. I hadn’t felt it in a long time, the sense of warmth and complete peace that filled my heart, emptying my mind of all its doubts. The Spirit.

Thank you, I whispered to my Father.

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6 thoughts on “Spotlight #4: A Novel for Sundays

  1. Kellyn Roth January 16, 2017 / 4:48 PM

    That sounds great! I love that she nicknamed her car … and how she threatened it (or … her). 🙂 Also, I love the name Scarlett. Just because.

    Anyway, can’t wait to read it (although I’m not LDS, so I don’t know … it’s really cool that you’re writing it, though).

    All right, so … before I forget, you are really getting good at graphics and stuff, girls! I’ve been looking at them all and going, “Wow! Why is everything so professional here?!” You’re good at this … which makes sense, I suppose, because you designed TLOTV’s cover, and it’s sooo pretty. 😀

    Like

    • Lana January 17, 2017 / 5:54 PM

      Her car is awesome. And also very stubborn…so pretty much, they’re a good match for each other. I love the name Scarlett, too! I can’t remember why I chose that name for her…could’ve been because my little brother had a crush on a girl named that at the time, could’ve been because of the Clue game…can’t remember.

      Well, I consider the themes in it as themes that would apply to any Christian faith, but yeah, the specific doctrine itself/some humor might not make sense. Of course, whatever you didn’t understand, I’d totally be willing to explain!

      Thank you! 😀 I really enjoy making graphics and stuff like that…usually I’m just too lazy to make them for every blog post I do, but I’m getting better. Too bad I have a hard time designing covers for myself…I’ve made a lot of covers for other people that I’m super proud of, but I’m never entirely able to create a cover for myself that I’m happy with! I’m going to try practicing more with that, though, and hopefully I’ll improve! I want to learn how to design covers more professionally…I suppose I’ll have to look up some tips or tutorials or something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth January 17, 2017 / 10:01 PM

        That would probably work. I just didn’t want to, you know, be bugging you with stuff like, “What does this mean?” all the time, but if you don’t mind, I really want to read it! 🙂

        The same goes for me. I like the covers I make for other people (although they’re nowhere near professional), but I don’t like my own. One time I made a random cover … “The Walls of Gomorrah by S. Isabell Jacobsen.” The title is random and the author name is my friend’s pen name … that I made up. So yeah. I’ve got to convince her to write that book sometime … she’ll have to plot it, though. 😉

        Like

      • Lana January 17, 2017 / 11:04 PM

        No, I love answering questions about that! I think it’s awesome when people want to learn about it! Anyway, I’ve only written like a chapter, and I’m obviously only going to be writing in it on Sundays, so progress will be slow, but if you want to alpha read it, that’d be cool. It’d be nice to have someone to encourage me to keep going with it!

        Oooh, that sounds like a cool book–I love that title. Tell her that she does need to write it! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth January 17, 2017 / 11:49 PM

        I would love to alpha read it! Although … everything’s so busy now, I don’t know when I could actually read it! (well, technically it’s only busy because I’m not achieving everything and every day I have more to do … but yep)

        I know! Maybe I should write it … but yeah. I prefer “The Walls of Gomorrah by S. Isabell Jacobsen” rather than “The Walls of Gomorrah by Kellyn Roth” …

        Like

      • Lana January 18, 2017 / 5:26 PM

        Well, if I’m writing only a thousand words in it once a week, you’d only have a chapter to read every two or three weeks. So if that’s okay, then I can email you the first chapter, but if you want to wait until you’re less busy, that’s okay too.

        It sounds fine with your name…but I do agree with you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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