November is almost here

This blog post is coming to you from my new laptop! This is a hopeful sign for this blog, because my old laptop was experiencing problems, so I rarely used it anymore. My kids bought me an iPad for Christmas last year (best gift I have ever received … well, at least since I’ve been a grown up), and I have used that almost exclusively since then. The only problem is that it was limited when it came to writing blog posts. For some reason, it just stopped advancing after it reached a certain point in the blog. I downloaded the blog app, but that didn’t help either. The other thing that the iPad wasn’t really good at was Word Processing. I got a keyboard that worked really well, but you cannot get Word on the iPad, and nothing else that I tried was really satisfactory for writing and word processing.

So about that book I keep talking about writing … well, I haven’t been. I confess now, I have not been working on it. For those of you who don’t know, the book is a novel, as in fiction. However, it is about a mother with a daughter who was kidnapped, and I have been every which way around that. I started writing it from a completely fictional point of view, but I just couldn’t do that. So there is much of Michaela in this book. Her character, and the kidnapping, and who knows how much else, are all going to be Michaela. With a different name of course.

Michaela is the beginning of the story, and she is the song playing in the background throughout the book. The primary plot, though, is about the mother’s second daughter.  And her character is based on my youngest daughter, Johnna. The theme of the book is the impact of loss on a family, and it has always been very interesting how deeply Johnna has been impacted by it.  It is almost as though she suffered the greatest damage to the heart over what happened to Michaela, even though she was born five years after the her kidnapping. The character she inspires has a story that is completely fictional, however, something she and I have not had to endure and I’m sure never will.

This has caused me problems, however, because I have three other children in between Michaela and Johnna. In the story, there must be siblings, in order for the character to be who she is, where she is, how she is. But I can’t include siblings that match the ones that really exist, because that would make the story too true to life, or make it seem too true to life. My mother’s heart has kept going back and forth over this ground, wanting to be fair to everyone, to make sure every one of my children knows how special I feel they are, and that none feel slighted. I think I have figured it out now, though, who the other siblings are.


Anyway, between all this and the logistical questions of just how and where the story should begin and unravel, I have rewritten the first chapter about fifty times, and eventually just gave up. But now I have news! November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. This is an on-line thing where between November 1st and November 30th each year, all these crazy people sign up to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. This year, I have signed up. So wish me luck, and if you don’t see me for awhile, you will know why. This involves an average of 1,600-1,700 words a day. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely a job.

When this book is finally finished, I do promise you will get to read it if you want to. It WILL be published. If there are any agents or publishers out there who are dying for a crack at it, let me know. If there are not, I will publish it myself. That’s a pretty easy thing to do these days, and luckily my work history has given me a set of skills that make it even easier for me than  most. Well, let me put it this way … you will get to read it if ever my inner editor finishes with it. It really would be so much easier to have a real editor. I think I’m a pretty good writer, and yet whenever I go back and read something I have written I find myself cringing as often as not. It’s kind of like when you listen to the sound of your voice on a tape recording.

I can’t finish this blog without acknowledging that tomorrow is November 1st. This month will mark 25 years since Michaela was kidnapped. It seems forever ago! In January, Michaela will be the age that I was when I lost her. It just stops me in my tracks. Where does it go from here? It is interesting that NaNoWriMo happens in November. At first I thought it was a terrible time, but I’ve decided it is not. Perhaps it is the best of times. Spending this month looking inside and trying to bring forth some meaning of it all might be the best thing for me.

I don’t know at this point what I will be doing for the anniversary this year. My inclination is not to hold a public gathering. Of course, it never is, never has been. I do that generally for Michaela, so that she can see how people still love her and miss her. For me it often actually takes my attention away from what it is all really about, and I spread myself too thin trying to greet all the people I have not seen for a long time, or have never met at all, and of course I never succeed. Always afterwards I think about people who came and how I appreciate the fact that I did and wish I’d had a chance to speak to them and thank them. Anyway, I can still hope that we will get an answer between now and November 19th, so that we won’t have to do anything on that day, so that all it will be is a bad memory. Like, for example, I could hear from Michaela….

Anyway, thank you all again for your love and support, and thank you, Michaela, for coming to this earth and for being the most beautiful little soul I could ever hope to have for a daughter. I love you forever, sweetheart, wherever you are.


21 thoughts on “November is almost here

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  1. Once again you've inspired me, Sharon. I'm not 'writing a book' if I haven't written anything. This is exactly the kick in the derrière I need to crank out our story. November 17th marks the two year anniversary of Adam being taken….and I'm going to channel the emotions associated with this month into NaNoWriMo. Thank you for sharing the idea. Best of luck with your challenge. I know your book will be poignant, articulate, and captivating– just as all your other writing is.P.S. Your blog post measures in at 1104 words. 😉


  2. Sharon, this is great news! I will most definitely read the book WHEN it comes out, and an autobiographical novel sounds like the perfect genre for your story. As a mother I can understand your need to include all of your children. I'm so glad you're going to do. As I've said many times, I think you're a very talented writer. Cindy


  3. My name is Izabella and I am posting from my moms computer, your story inspires me and though I'm only 12 I will do my best to spread the word among my friends, peers, and my community. I can't imagine what it would be like for my mother if I was ever kidnapped, I'm sure that one day Michaela will be found. One odd thing is actually that my moms cousin was the friend that was with Michaela that day. We aren't in contact with her anymore because of family issues but just knowing that my own family had some involvement in this makes me even sadder and also makes me hope 10 times more that she gets found. I cant wait to read your novel and I truly wish you the best.


  4. Sheesh. It is absolutely not true. I guess it just proves that just because it is printed doesn't mean you can believe it. The girls didn't even know the guy was there until he grabbed Michaela.


  5. I know the first time, I just wanted you to know where I got it from, I believe you more than the author cause after all you are the mother of the child as well as now more than anybody. I'm glad that pair of the street.


  6. Sharon, I am not a publisher but I own a printing company in Mobile Al., Diamond Printing 251-476-2646. If you decide to self publish I would be honored to print your book. I have checked your blog for years and keep Michaela and your family in my prayers. God's peace to you and your family always


  7. You are welcome. I have no doubt your book will be beautifully written, how could it not? Your heart and soul will be in every word.


  8. Sharon,I was just curious what your thoughts are regarding the movie that is being made about Michaela and her kidnapping? Hope it will generate some new leads for you and your family.Thank you,Beth


  9. Sharon, My apologies I mistaking thought you knew. I am sorry to be the one to inform you, Yes a movie is in fact being made about Michaela and her kidnapping. I am aware of this because this past summer I saw the information about the film that was publicly posted by the production company that is creating the film. Beth


  10. I googled it and nothing came up about a movie involving Michaela. So if you know of any information, please let me know. I don't know how they could possibly make a movie without the cooperation of the family or the police department, and nobody has contacted us. There also frankly isn't anything to make a movie from. I have encountered that in writing about it. An endless list of leads that went nowhere is not the stuff Hollywood is made of.


  11. I think if you google Michaela Garecht, Movie or something to that effect you are correct nothing will come up. I'll be the first to admit I am not a lawyer nor do I work in the film industry so I'm not an expert on this topic or have any first hand working knowledge on how these things are done. In my life time like most people I have watched television shows that have aired an episode that is inspired by actual events or a “true story” or a movie that has done the same thing. Sometimes the creators of the project work with the family and police department. Other times I think a movie or particular television episode is “inspired” by an actual events that are taken from news headlines. My guess is if a particular movie is being made and it is going to specifically say a real persons name in it and illustrate actual events in the movie they are obligated to contact the family and or the police department. However if a film/movie/television episode is created by news headlines while they may or many not have to do some form of fact checking I would think the production company would not be under the obligation of contacting family and police departments and long don't say specific things such as “This movie IS about 'Name of actual person” and what happen to them and or their life.” As a child growing up I saw Michaela's case all over the news and remember seeing her picture on milk cartons, flyers and at Wal-Mart. Off and on over the years as an adult I have followed your blog and web sites in hopes one day to see an update she had been found like Jaycee Dugard. Back over Spring early Summer of this year I saw a film project on a crown founding site and it grabbed by attention when I read the information about the film. This is why it grabbed by attention. The project stated something to the effect of “inspired” by actual events about a girl who was kidnapped from the west coast at the age of 8 or 9. The girl has yet to be found and the inspirational story of a mother's heart ache & what she endorses and scarifies for decades to find her missing child. Does it specifically say this movie is being made about Michaela Garchet a girl who was kidnapped and has missing from Haywood California in 1989 or it's about her family and what they have been through, no it does not specifically say this in the description.(Which I'm assuming is why if people google this movie under those “guidelines's” they aren't going to find it.) However anyone who reads about that project on that site and is remotely familiar with Michaela's case is going to realize without a doubt the plot of the film was inspired or at the very least loosely based on Michaela's case without specifically stating Michaela's name or key specific things such as your name. To be honest, I'm not sure either if there is anything to make a movie about or not. Maybe it's one more person making a movie to raise awareness about the missing? Or what families of the missing goes through? Who knows. I almost dropped you a comment the day I saw and read about the project. I just wasn't sure where to post the comment and I mistakenly assumed you knew about it and at some point would blog about it and I would wait and ask you about it at that time. When you posted about your book, I wondered what was going on with the film and what your thoughts are/where about it and thought I would ask. My sincere apologies for any disruption I may have caused by asking. I just naively thought you knew about it. It has been so many months since I saw that project on that site, honestly at this point I am not sure if I would be able to go back and find it. If I come across it again I will be sure to drop you a note about it. -Beth


  12. Well, if you see anything else let me know. If they want to write a fictional story, that's fine. Lord knows many have before! As long as they don't use anything from my blogs or websites.


  13. This is what I found on the possible Movie/Documentary subject: More at IMDbPro » America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back: Season 23, Episode 3 James Scott/Michaela Garecht (26 Sep. 2009) “America's Most Wanted” James Scott/Michaela Garecht (original title) TV Episode – 60 min – Documentary | Crime | Drama Your rating: 12345678910 -/10 X (awaiting 5 votes) Reviews: write review Stars:Joey Cabrera, Matt Cannon, Lynn-Jane Foreman | See full cast and crew »


  14. Dear Anonymous,Just for clarification what I had mentioned was not an episode of America's Most wanted or any other television show that has already done something regarding this case. A production company that makes movies is making a movie that is loosely based upon the events of Michaela's kidnapping. The film is in the process of being funded. What this means in part is the film has NOT been made as a result it has not been syndicated or viewed by anyone. As a gentle reminder, Michaela Garchet's name is NOT listed within the description and neither is her family named within the description. If anyone google's the words Michaela Garchet, Movie, Sharon or anything of that nature, the movie will not be found. They only way the movie will be found someone will have to go to the crown funding site it is posted on and literally spend hours searching for it through all the various other movies posted for funding. Sharon, Have a wonderful week


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