Writing the First Novel
“And how long did it take to write and publish your first novel, The Women Gather ?” This was one of the constant questions asked during the interviews leading up to my book launch. If one were to survey my friends with this question, they would no doubt answer, “Forever!” Through all their support and encouragement, it must have been painful to keep being told: “I’m working on it!”
Truth of the matter, I’m not sure I wanted to come to the novel’s end. After retirement and moving to Cornwall, I worked hard to become part of the community. I joined various organizations to feel a sense of belonging. I also worked hard to disengage from my status as an ’employed person’. I needed to reinvent myself. Overall though, I was clearly searching for something more. I knew so many who pursued specific creative endeavours with what I could only define as ‘a passion’. While my many involvements did give me a sense of satisfaction, none remotely resembled a passion. Delving into my memory, it came to me that what I have always enjoyed was writing: short stories, poetry, articles, even briefing notes. I came to realize perhaps that is what I needed to tackle, seriously and with dedication.
And there’s the rub. Dedication! When I finally decided to get on with it and write the first novel, I was quite methodical. I knew what theme to promote; I knew what the story line would say; I knew how the chapters would evolve; I knew who the characters would be; I decided what the ending would reveal. I am after all an organized person ‒ perhaps an obsessively organized person. But then, once the writing began, something bewildering started to infiltrate and grasp hold. The characters as well as the story line indicated signs of taking on a life of their own. I’ve heard most writers describe this mystical experience. What I also discovered was that the process of creating became my passion. Reaching the goal of completion was quite secondary. I finally understood. The journey itself is the joy! Having said all that, at some point, reality called. I needed to write that last chapter and finish the work.
Now that my novel has been published by Baico Publishing and launched, it is finally out there. I have to let it go. It needs to take on a life of its own, with you, as the reader.
July 2012 article
Kindness column, Seaway News
‘The Women Gather’ – Baico Publishing Inc. – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katalin Kennedy – e-mail: email@example.com
Available at Chapters.
In Cornwall, also ask for ‘The Women Gather’ at:
- ‘Life’s Little Pleasures’ – 108 Pitt Street, Cornwall or
- ‘The Grind’ – 35 Second Street, Cornwall or
- ‘Friends of the Library’, Cornwall Public Library
Price: $20 plus if applicable: $3 shipping and handling.
Tuesday, April 6 – Rhianna Returns
Aideen found mother and daughter surrounded by Snow (the Akita) and Lily (the cat) at the kitchen table in front of the tea pot, laughing at some story Rhianna had just told. They didn’t look like each other, except at the eyes. Yes, the eyes were the same, huge and open and dark — eyes that could see through you whatever your thoughts. But as for the rest, there was no resemblance, none at all. Where Tunde was tall and imposing, Rhianna was short and engaging. Her face too was quite beautiful, but more rounded than Tunde’s, with pink cheeks and firm uplifted lips. Her hair was curly and long with dark black strands spattered with gray. She had pulled it all up in a clasp that was fighting to fall out with every movement she made. And Rhianna was movement personified. She talked with her hands, her head and her shoulders! Where she was animated, Tunde was elegant. Where she was boisterous, Tunde was reserved. Yet there was an unmistakable connection between them, as though they were bound together with invisible silk threads that pulled and gave — one in harmony with the other.
“Come sit with us, Aideen!” Rhianna invited her. “My daughter has told me about you. Welcome to Lemuria. Here is a nice cup of jasmine tea to start your day.”
“I believe that Aideen’s day started several hours ago, Mother,” Tunde smiled at her young charge. “What did you find out about our beginnings, this time?”
“I was reading Lin Yao’s letters, mostly to her mother and to Patia, about her trip to China. It felt like being there. I’m looking forward to more stories about her. I hope she kept up her diary, because Nora gave her a white leather bound journal for her sixteenth birthday.” Aideen’s voice was eager, wanting reassurance.
Tunde smiled with obvious fondness. “You have become quite the detective, unraveling our history! .. “The work you are doing Aideen has not been attempted, owing to the sheer volume of our constantly growing acquisitions. You are indeed an unexpected gift from the gods.”
She excused herself as she and Rhianna hurried off to the Temple for the first plenary of the day.
Aideen waited a bit, pulled her hair back into a knot and placed the gray caftan that Tunde had given her, over her outer clothing. She cautiously followed the path which mother and daughter had taken to the Temple. Once there, she found an inconspicuous archway at the back where the chelae were already seated. Aideen hoped to blend in with the other young women. There was something going on. She felt it instinctively.
Akkasha Chaeli was on the platform at the head of the Temple. There was excitement in her voice…
“And now I have a wonderful surprise for you. We had hoped that she would be able to be with us, but with her heavy schedule of commitments we were not sure until last evening. I am of course speaking of our Ambassador Rhianna, daughter of Patia, who is our official liaison representative to the Norean Order Network of Sanctuaries.
Aideen watched in awe as a magnificent woman walked methodically up the steps of the platform. Her dove gray robe flowed about her body with exquisite assurance and the rainbow silk shawl caressing her face floated over and behind her shoulders elongating her physique. She removed some papers from the sleeve of her robe and carefully placed them on the podium. She attached the translation device to her bosom and smiled brightly.
How wonderful it is to be here among you my Sisters. Thank you for fitting me into your very busy week. I bring you greetings from all parts of the world. I know so many of you. I have sat with you sharing tea. I have sat with you at your satsangs listening to your discoveries and thoughts. I have mourned with you when we buried your dead. I have rejoiced with you at the birth of your babies and here I am again among you, celebrating our past and looking with great anticipation to our future…
Excerpt from ‘The Women Gather’ by Katalin Kennedy
“THE WOMEN GATHER”, Katalin Kennedy
Published by: BAICO Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-1-926945-87-3
EMESE’S DREAM PRODUCTION
“We live in a period of history which has the potential to be the most enlightened. Yet, it has become almost expected that we adopt a blaming, pessimistic, dark attitude, both for today and for what lies ahead.”
“The Women Gather”, reflects author, Katalin Kennedy’s passion to put forth her belief that the world can, indeed, create a more positive future.
Katalin’s optimistic attitude is not surprising. She and her family escaped Hungary in 1956 and immigrated as refugees to Canada. She graduated from Ottawa’s Carleton University and has managed major national projects as Program Consultant on Seniors’ and Women’s Issues with Health Canada. She now lives in Cornwall and writes the monthly Kindness column for Seaway News.
“The Women Gather” takes place in Lemuria, Ontario, at a teaching retreat for women, founded by Nora Fényes-Bryson to provide a safe haven for women so that they could rediscover their true selves and make the world a better place. With time, the Norean Order spread throughout the world. Women from various Sanctuaries are now attending the International “Gathering” Symposium to report on their researched progress and evolution.
Starting in the late 1990s, “The Women Gather” journals the phases our society has gone through, the problems and resistance encountered and projects a world into the year 2066.
“The Women Gather” is not a work of Science Fiction rather a learning journey with which that readers can identify. The members of the Norean Order feel ready for their re-entry into the world outside of Lemuria to carry the message forward. The book portrays the potential future for men and women alike.
Join Katalin Kennedy at the launch of “The Women Gather”.
Date: July 21, 2012
Time: 2 – 4:00 PM
Place: Cornwall Public Library, 2nd Floor, Second Street East, Cornwall