Ordinary World summary from 'A Buddha at My Table'

Ordinary World summary from 'A Buddha at My Table' - student project

Hey Writers!

I thought it might help for you to see a portion of my own Hero's Journey outline. The final book follows this pretty closely!


My husband Dave and I are both writers. He works in an advertising agency and is a songwriter and musician. I’ve worked as a copywriter, but my first love is fiction. We’ve been married twelve years and have a house, 3 kids, Midwestern backgrounds, and similar family traditions. As the story begins, we’re going to spend Thanksgiving with his parents, the way we've done for the nearly 20 years we’ve been together. I have a sense of security and having "arrived" in the life I planned.

I’ve written a novel, called “Hello Loved Ones.” It took me 13 years to finish, between having three kids, moving three times, and owning, growing, and selling a dog kennel. Now, discouraged by the tedious and time-consuming process of looking for an agent, my writing has ground to a halt. One morning, I volunteer to go with my son Jed’s class on a field trip to a writing and literacy program called Open Books. On the bus, Jed sits beside another boy, but they don’t talk. I’m watchful and curious. Does he have friends? Do the kids like him? Why isn’t he participating? This must be my fault. I'm too quiet. I'm too shy. I've cursed my kid with some gene that makes it hard for him to be one of the crowd. During the presentation he’s like a noodle, clinging to me, and I’m embarrassed. The kids are asked to write about a loved one. Jed doesn’t show me his work, but when they ask someone to share, Jed raises his hand. He chose to write about me. He stands and says that I am good at jokes, smart at math, and 5 feet tall. None of this is true but isn’t poetic license a beautiful thing? The field trip, with its focus on writers and books, has me thinking about my own book and my dream of having it published. My first novel...I love the ring of those words. But the characters that were once so real to me have been shelved to make room for the living, breathing members of my family. My writing will have to wait.

Author and Writing Coach