My soon-to-be-published novella, “Big Love,” from the Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection from Penwrights Press, caught me a bit by surprise. In so many ways.
I wasn’t expecting to write a novella for a collection with six of my writing friends. Heck, I wasn’t expecting to write a novella!
But the idea was floated for a collection themed around the tiny house phenomenon and it seemed like fun. Then came deciding what my story would be about and how to incorporate the theme.
Not as easy as it may sound. I’m a Seat Of The Pants (SOTP) writer. I sit down at the computer, open a Word document, and start writing.
However, when we decided we wanted to do this collection, my wife and I had just finished touring the Tiny House Road Show (photos above) when it stopped here in Indianapolis. On a subsequent weekend trip to Cincinnati, we brainstormed a couple of ideas about how it could be approached.
What if the man in the story was a writer for an architectural journal who thought himself too sophisticated to do a story on tiny houses? What if the woman was the president of a company building tiny houses with the idea to use the proceeds to battle homelessness? Then, what if both of these people had experienced homelessness in different forms and it had drastically affected their lives, but in different, opposite ways?
But I still couldn’t seem to get the story started. One day, I’m driving around the Northside of Indianapolis and I spot a street sign for Timberly Drive and the voice of my female character just pops into my mind and starts talking.
I’m just going to put it out there. My name’s Timberly. Yeah, Timberly. Get over it. I did long ago, okay? What can a girl say? My father, the dealmaker, cut what he called a “win-win” with my mother. Trouble is, there were three people in the deal and only two of them “won-won.”
From there the story began to unfold. A theme paragraph emerged: Homelessness expanded her world and constricted his. Now she needs his help, but he only remembers the pain. Can they find big love in a tiny house?
“Big Love” is one of seven novellas written around the theme of tiny houses. It is included in Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection coming soon from Penwrights Press. Available in e-book and print mid-May, 2017. Cover design by Ken Raney.