Why “Wandering Ingrelan”?
Even when my feet aren’t wandering, my mind often is, and one of the places it visits most frequently is Ingrelan. Where is Ingrelan? Well, it’s in my head. And, if I ever finish writing my story, then it might end up in a book, on your shelf. You may also get a taste of Ingrelan as you wander here, as it influences many of my other thoughts. You might even meet some of the people who inhabit Ingrelan and the countries surrounding it.
The story of Ingrelan began as a put-me-to-bed story somewhere around the age of twelve. I could probably even trawl the archives and determine exactly which night it began. I’d just need to find out which night during my sixth grade year the movie Willow aired on broadcast television. Those pages of the newspaper should be included on the microfilm, right?
A year or so later, the story was put to paper in a Mead composition book. For whatever reason, I only used the front of the pages, but I used eleven of them. But, being a perfectionist who writes in pen, I needed a clean book to start over again, so that I didn’t have so much scratched out. Three pages of story, two pages with character lists—in different handwriting styles, and that notebook was also abandoned. Until May of 2009.
A lot of things happened that year. Student teaching. The MN Education Job Fair. My sixth MS150. A few interviews with ASD, and eventually a move to Anchorage.
And a bunch of story writing.
Katrina had been making herself at home in my mind for over ten years, but I still didn’t know where her family had come from. Various thoughts percolated throughout the summer, and I had an answer by August. In roughly thirty-six hours, I filled thirteen pages of my composition book with a short story about Katrina’s granddaughter. Only once before had I written so much in one sitting. Four years earlier, DaRelle’s deep, dark secret came out in a rush over Memorial Day weekend.
But, like much of my other writing, I scribbled DaRelle’s story on loose-leaf paper. Some of my notes were even on half-size notepad paper, which didn’t fit nicely into my writing binder. I realized I needed to upgrade the writing pad beside my bed. And I still had those two comp books from junior high. I pulled out the thicker one first, but had to switch to the original one in April 2011. I bought a three subject comp book in 2012. My YA suspense gets the first part, Ingrelan the second, and the third is for other random thoughts that need to be scribbled so I can forget them.
The story has progressed in leaps and strides since then. And, it’s improved just as much. Joining ACFW was one of the best things I ever did for my writing. The critique loop alone is probably worth the membership fee, as my scores in the Genesis contest can testify. Those lovely ladies and gents helped raise my score from a 51 point average in 2010 to a 71 in 2011. The judges in 2012 had some harsher things to say, but my synopsis for Katrina’s story finalled in ACFW Central Florida’s 2013 SOS contest.