NaNoWriMo: This Year’s Story

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I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again. I’m posting about this new world over here at The Book of Astrophilia. Sometimes NaNoWriMo feels like a fool’s errand. I’ve got other manuscripts that need finishing. What is the point of adding to the pile of words?

Well, I’ve a story to tell. This has been in mind for a while, and now seems like the time to put the bare bones of it on the page. I won’t promise what I’ll do after NaNoWriMo. I’ve made too many writing promises that I haven’t been able to keep.

I want to finish all my stories. I don’t know why that is so hard to do.

And I want to find a new publisher. That feels impossible most days, but so it goes. But publication isn’t the important thing. Getting the stories done matters more.

I need a plan I can stick to. How many manuscripts can one finish in a year?

Anyway, this years story is a fairy tale space adventure. Or maybe a science-fiction fairy tale? It isn’t true science fiction. But it does use science. I’m using the science of dark matter and what we know of our universe. My characters are on a space ship, the StarEarth Express. They are traveling beyond are solar system to the edge of the observable universe.

I’m calling it an alternate reality. They have space travel. They travel at the speed of light. They have planets we’ve heard of and planets we haven’t. The planets are impossible in our universe. Humans or human-ish beings live everywhere. I’ve taken ideas from Star Wars, Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Trek and Cosmos. Plus a dash of crows and fairy tales.

My main character however is not your usual space adventurer. She’s not an outlaw or a science officer. She’s not a pilot or engineer. She’s not the last human stuck with an android and a hologram. She’s not a rebel or a princess. She’s a teacher.


But it’s true. I’m teacher in my day job, and I’ve never used my work in my writing. I can’t write about my real students learning English. But my heroine is a teacher on this space ship, moving through the universe, helping aliens learn Earth English. Is that crazy?

But in all these sic-fi shows, everyone speaks English. So, in Firefly, people use a smattering of Chinese. In the universe imagined by Douglas Adams, people can use the Babble Fish. In Doctor Who, the TARDIs translates everything. But what if we actually had to learn each other’s languages? In my story, the ship is like a small city traveling through space. (Though not quite like Britain in Doctor Who.)


And there are teachers who can help aliens communication with the Earthlings. This is why my heroine is traveling the stars, finding herself in will situations with all manner of creatures.

In a perfect world, I’ll finish this novel but will still have more stories to tell about my teacher heroine.

I hope it works.


Thanks for reading!

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