Thanks to my husband Steve, 2015 began with my quest to write a novel. He gave me a copy of the fantastic No Plot? No Problem! by “National Novel Writing Month” founder Chris Baty for Christmas. In January, I was off to a great start, when some personal and professional setbacks sent my story to the back burner. Now I’m back at it. I have a wonderful opportunity to fast-track it, and I’d love your help to bring this baby into the world.

Laura Munson, the best-selling author and founder of the Haven Writing Retreats, has created Haven II, an intensive 5-day experience for writerswho have a book project underway. Many of you know that I’ve attended Laura’s Haven I retreat, and my writing voice blossomed beautifully.  My piece describing my experience was the winner of the Haven 2014 blog contest (click here to read).  This piece is in the memoir style I’ve written up till now. With this new project, I’m trying my hand at a different genre: fiction.

In my writing and speaking, the best way I know to share my hard-won lessons and wisdom is through stories. (Check out the video posted above to see.) When someone tells me that my words resonated with their own story, I am so grateful. Stories create deep connections with us, and help to make sense of life’s mysteries. My new novel will merge story and insight, and be told in the voice I’ve nurtured as a speaker and author.

Now my muse is calling me to Montana to continue the Haven journey at the end of October, 2015. I have been accepted to the Haven II Writing Retreatprogram along with a small group of fellow authors. During this intensive workshop, I’ll make huge progress in writing the novel under Laura’s direction. My goal is to publish the novel in 2016. I’ve put a down payment on the retreat, which will cost about $4,200 total for the program, overnight accommodations, meals, and travel. Will you please make a contribution to my project, and help me bring this new novel into the world?

There are a few different ways you can help: For a $25 donation, you’ll get a signed copy of the novel; with a $75 gift, you’ll get a signed copy and will name some of the items in the story ; and for a gift of $200 you’ll get to name a character in the book and choose the items this character will use, in addition to two signed copies of the book. You may choose any amount you’d like to give.

You’re probably wondering what the novel is about. Well, I’m not telling! 😉 I’m keeping the idea under wraps to give it time to grow and develop. I will tell you that it’s clever, close to home, and, like my previous work, tells the story in a voice that resonates, inspires, and entertains. You’ll see yourself and those you love in the story, and be delighted to hear the setting and scene for the items.The characters will be shaped, in part, by those who participate in this project. It will be such fun to work on it together!

To make a gift to the Haven II project, please click here, or comment on this post if you’d like more information or to make a gift offline.

Your gift will affirm and inspire me, and give me a powerful incentive to remain true to this project and to see it through. I’ll send progress updates to all who donate, including reports from Haven II and the milestones I pass on the way to publication in 2016.

Thank you, from my heart of hearts, for your consideration and support of this project. May this novel bring inspiration to all who read it!