This morning I received a message that this blog had a new follower… possibly from Ghana.  Welcome!  We at PULSE have many friends at Ghana and many PULSE practionners have put the Frame to use there with great success resolving differences even between warring tribes there.  I have been invited to Ghana many times but have not had the privilege of visiting there…yet.

One of my projects this winter is to write a novel.  One of the settings is Ghana as the hero of the story searches for the secret of peace among nations.  Ghana, Canada and Jordan are three countries were peaceful choices were made when their neighbours went to war.  The hero’s circumstances conspire to create an urgent curiousity about peaceful nations and the lessons to be learned there.  He begins a quest, an appreciative inquiry into peace.

It started as a serious academic look at the situation when Canada stayed out of Iraq.  I had our summer student put together documents outlining how all three countries had histories that were different from their neighbours and my own curiousity peeked. Like most writers the timeliness of the project got away with me as I was doing other things and so now that I do have some time to spend with the research I am not sure how relevant it will be.  Pair that with my recent experience as a member of a book club where I am forced to read novels and my mother’s very serious question “Why don’t you ever write stories??” and VOILA… the idea of using the research to write a story was born.

I am very lucky that I have friends in Ghana and in Jordan who can read the book for me and advise as to the accuracy of the facts of the situation that I describe in it.  I am also lucky that my brother is a geek.  I have set the novel in the future and I am having such fun playing with the technology.  All of the gadgets I have dreamed up are possible with today’s technology and I have put ones we now use to further use as technologies merge.  I am having so much fun inventing things that provide convenience and make life easier in some ways and restricted in others. My brother smiles alot when we talk about it.

My dilemma right now is how to find the time to actually sit and write.  It is a lot like the winter I wrote my dissertation.  I am torn by this desire to spend time with family and friends especially in December and my need to capture the thoughts on paper or on the screen.  I am working towards 8 hour days with coffee and lunch breaks.  With most of the creative work in place it is now time to settle in and write.  It is now my JOB to get the manuscript written and to find a publisher who might be interested in this future best seller.  Meanwhile I play with titles and ask friends and colleagues to listen to or read excerpts but not too many and only those who will provide positive feedback.  I am still vulnerable with the story, meaning that if anyone said…”who would be interested in a story like that?”  I would be devastated and have to put it aside.  It is my baby and it is beautiful to me.

The Ghana piece, although it has been well researched, lacks my own personal experience of that beautiful country and so I am considering when might be a good time in the process to make the journey.  I would like to have some sort of manuscript in hand before I go … one that I feel comfortable sharing with the people there.