Innocent Dreams: Author Update, March 2021

Innocent Dreams: Author Update, March 2021

(Coach de Witt in action!)

It’s time again for another Waking From Innocent Dreams author update. In my last email, I wrote about finishing Act 2B, starting Act 3, and selling my first 20 copies. If you missed that update, you can find it in the newsletter archives on my website.

Time to Take a Break

As some of you may or may not know, every spring, I coach Ultimate Frisbee at Beaver Country Day School. Those of you who have read the first three chapters of my book may recognize the name because I attended that high school in the late 90s. While teaching the game of ultimate is one of the highlights of the year, my duties as a coach often make it quite challenging to make progress on the book.

For me, writing is such an immersive and demanding endeavor that I find it hard to split my attention between the team and my book. Every year I tell myself, “maybe this time I’ll be able to write and coach,” but it never works out, and I’m ok with that. As much as I would love to push forward and finish the manuscript, I know that it’s not realistic, and it’s not fair to my students. So for the next two months, I will be taking a break from the writing.

The good news is that Act 3 is in really good shape. Before coaching started, I was able to draft all of the scenes that make up this section, which will be extremely helpful for when I resume writing, probably early June. Taking a break from the book also gives me time to work on other projects, such as building a website for the book and working on a screenplay.

Writing a Screenplay

Ever since the reunion, my family has always joked that one day our story would become a major motion picture. While I have no idea if that will actually happen, this past month, I started working on a screenplay with John Younger, the director of our upcoming documentary film.

Now, before you get too excited about seeing our story on the big screen, I have to warn you that movies can take years, sometimes decades, to be made. Not to mention John and I have our hands full finishing our current projects. So far, all we have done is talk about the film at a very high level, focusing on questions such as, what is the plot? And who are the main characters?

What is fascinating about our discussions is how grounded they have felt. I feel like writing a screenplay is one of those lofty ambitions people sometimes toss around without really understanding what’s involved, but that hasn’t been the case for us. We have learned so much about storytelling from working on the book and film that when we talk about the screenplay in concrete terms. John and I will continue to work on the script as time permits, and maybe, when my book is done, I will start writing it for real.

The Month Ahead

Since I won’t be working on the book for the next two months, I won’t be sending out any author updates during that time, but don’t worry, I’m not going radio silent.

In three weeks, I’ll be announcing my new series, which was inspired by these updates called Beyond The Book. These posts will focus on how writing my autobiographical novel has changed me and helped me make sense of my past. They will take the place of my author updates while I’m coaching, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy the spring!

Sincerely,
Nelson/Roberto

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Nelson/Roberto

Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I am a writer, photographer, and storyteller.

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