Stories, Photographs and the Challenge to Write

Island Traveler has posted another great theme for the Weekly Image of Life: Stories and Photographs.

His timing is perfect!

I’ve been writing my blog for fourteen months. If you follow along you know that I often write stories about my family and its history.

Cathy studying materials during a meeting in Tempe, Az.

Cathy studying materials during a meeting in Tempe, Az. Her tea is always close at hand! September 2012

I’m fortunate to have a wealth of photographs and documents to browse and research.

In order to write my posts I frequently have to reach out to my family and ask them for the details. They are happy to oblige!

I think they realize these are not simply my stories, but their stories as well.

Louie Rosemarie & Jason

Louie, Rosemarie & Jason, clowning around at a family gathering!

Since the topic is stories, are you aware that that November happens to be National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?

Writers can log into the  NaNoWriMo web site and sign up for the challenge of writing a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November.


The first time I saw this challenge was last year. I had only been blogging for two months. Only one word came to mind – intimidating.

Well, November rolled around this year and suddenly I felt inspired!  Could I do this?  Could I write, on average 1,667 words per day?  Why not…or…why not at least try?

Participant Badge for National Novel Writing Month, 2012

What’s in in for me? Well, bragging rights for one thing!  Also, I get to appreciate the creative process. The point is to create by letting your imagination run free!

So what’s my topic? I’ve decided to write a fictional work about the way my daughter views the world. My teenage daughter is autistic. She has a small vocabulary and limited cognitive capabilities.  Still, she is generally happy.  There are times when she is surprising.


Mija, exploring her world. 1998

I’ve often considered the depths of her world and what it would contain. How would she describe her world?

My work will be the fictional expression of what she might write. Because of her limitations there is no way to confirm what’s really running through her mind.

What I want others to understand is that she has a point of view.  She has a voice.  Too often the world at large does not want to hear what she and others with similar limitations have to say.

My husband and I look at her and see how she responds to the world. She laughs, cries, turns away or is compliant. She is persistent and single-minded when she latches onto a behavior that pleases her.  She is loving.  People who get to know her say she is sweet.

In my eyes she is wonderful. I know she is misunderstood.

Mija at the nail salon.  She loves to look at her hands after her nails are done.

Mija at the nail salon. She loves to look at her hands after her nails are done. 2011

She is close to me and yet so far away. She is my heart. One day I hope we can talk to each other.  In the meantime I’ll write about what I can only imagine.

Wish me luck!  This month I hope to still write a few “regular” posts in the midst of the writing frenzy!  I’ll also update you on my progress.

It’s November 3rd and I’ve already written over 5,000 words. I’m 10 percent there!

Are you participating this year?  Leave me a comment to say yes, to give me some encouragement, or both!

In the meantime, I’ll get back to writing!


I've always enjoyed writing and finally decided it was time to blog! As part of my profession I write every day, but I'm now trying to take the time to write creatively. My family and friends have been very encouraging as there is little that is written down in the way of a family chronicle. This is a favorite topic of mine! In addition to family history, I write about life, family, friends and faith. My husband is a full-time parent to our special needs daughter. I’ve explored this topic, too. I also enjoy music, crocheting, reading and relaxing with my family. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2012, Autism, Musings, Personal, Special Needs, Thoughts, Uncategorized
26 comments on “Stories, Photographs and the Challenge to Write
  1. cobbies69 says:

    I am also doing it this year will be my second, and I was a winner last year and it was fun,, I am doing a romance this year…good luck..;)

  2. Cathy G says:

    Thanks, Gerry! I’m a newbie so I’ll see how it goes! Good luck to you, too! I’m listed as Cathy G on the site! 🙂

  3. Northern Narratives says:

    Good luck to you. I know you can do it 🙂

  4. fgassette says:

    Wonderful, I know you can do it.


  5. Sheryl says:

    Good luck! I love the picture of you daughter looking at her beautiful nails.

  6. Mona says:

    Cathy, I am proud of you for pursuing your dream of writing. In addition, I believe that we all need to see the world through your daughter’s eyes and if you can help us do that, it would be wonderful.

    You were in Tempe AZ recently? You were in my neighborhood. ~Mona

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi Mona! Blogging has been a good way for me to begin this. For November I hope to capture a lot of scenes that can be compiled and edited more fully. Yes, I was in Tempe in September. I thought about you as I was reading posts while traveling. It was my first visit there. Loved the city! It was a quick turnaround. I hope I can stay for a longer time in the future! Thanks!

  7. I would love to see Mija’s world through your eyes. Of a mother’s infinite love, her dreams and her hopes for her , their journey together in both highs and lows. I’m move and touch by this, “She is close to me and yet so far away. She is my heart. One day I hope we can talk to each other. In the meantime I’ll write about what I can only imagine.” You are a beautiful, gentle and loving person and all that shines through your images and words. Your are blessed with an amazing family. I hope to follow the same on my family, my sisters and their family, even with my in-laws who are now my second family. God bless you and your love ones always.

  8. scrapydo says:

    I nominated you for the reality blog award!

  9. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    Good luck, I look forward to reading it. It sounds like it will be a very heartwarming story. Patty

  10. Wow, Cathy! I’m so excited for you….and excited for us! Your topic is brilliant, truly inspired. I smell best-seller, and I’m not just saying that. You write from the heart, and this is exactly what is needed for your novel. I can’t wait to read the end result. Best of luck! 🙂

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi Isabella! It’s daunting and yet freeing to declare what I truly want to write! This month will be a good start to make that happen! It may take some time to edit and make it all take shape, but I have to start somewhere! Thanks for the kind thoughts and encouragement. I’m close to 10,000 words so far! 🙂

  11. […] Cathy of […]

  12. Yolanda gutierrez says:

    Cathy, Thank you for sharing the stories and pictures of your mija. the sweet picture of her as a child feeling the world with her small hands and her as a teenager enjoying the Manicured hands. Its great to see she enjoys the things of life we as girls can do. And how you and Al can give her the life as any other child with autism or not. This is ‘Life’ as all children or adults with Autism can live. I applaud you for sharing the sweet life of ‘mija”. I am so proud of being her Aunt and speak of her as often as i can. Especially with our friends who have Autistic children. Its wonderful to hear and see their accomplishments of their life too.

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi Yolie! Thank-you for your lovely comment. Even though she has her limits she can still be girly and still be a teenager. She brings surprises to us every day. Because of her we have met many incredible, generous, loving people. This journey is far from over and we don’t know where we’re heading! We just have to take our time to figure that out! I’m so happy that you stopped by! More stories to come. Thank-you for your love, support and prayers. Our best – a toda la familia! – Cathy

  13. Dear Cathy,
    Your NaNoWriMo project sounds wonderful. I hope that it has been going well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

My Thanks to YOU for all the Awards!
Bloggers for Peace
National Novel Writing Month 2012 and 2013 Winner!
Blog Visits
%d bloggers like this: