The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by the inspirational Karen McCann at Enjoy Living Abroad to take part in this feature.  Karen is the author of Dancing in the Fountain, the story of how she went to live in Spain for a year and ended up staying.   The idea of the project is this:  you write about your Next Big Thing, using the questions below, and then pass the torch onto other writers and bloggers who would like to take part.

My Next Big Thing is a way off into the future, but I’m already in the early planning stages.  Next summer, during the school holidays, I want to take myself and my five year old son off to France for at least a month, to practise our French, to get to know a few new people, to experience some new adventures and hopefully have a whole lot of fun along the way.  At the moment, I’m aiming to write it all up as a number of blog posts.  Here are the details:

What is the working title of the project?

At the moment, something frivolous and supremely unoriginal like Two Go Adventuring, or something like that.  I want to make it fun and spontaneous as I will have my small boy with me and I want him to enjoy the experience too.

Where did the idea come from?

Lots of things put this idea into my head.  Firstly, I’ve always wanted to live abroad, at least for a little while, even just a few months, but for various reasons I can’t see that happening yet.  A couple of years ago I was learning Italian and I thought it would be fun to go to practise the language in the country; this is definitely the fastest way for me to learn – total immersion.  Also, this summer we spent nearly three weeks in France and loved it.  So I thought I could satisfy my own wanderlust and give my son an amazing learning experience on a slightly more extended basis than the annual holiday would afford.  That’s the plan, anyway.

What genre does the project fall under?

I’m aiming for several categories, including travel and languages.  I want to experience as much of the culture of the place(s) we stay as I possibly can.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a slightly absurd question, but stranger things have been known.  I’m thinking of “We Bought A Zoo”, which was made into a film.  My project may not be quite as ambitious as that, but films are produced based on ordinary people’s everyday lives, so why not.   I’d like someone quirky and feisty like Celia Imrie to play me.  I had more trouble with an actor to play my little man.  I’ve been watching Pillars of the Earth on TV recently and the little boy, Sidney Johnston according to Wikipedia, who plays Tom Builder’s youngest son is a good actor and seems a fine young man.  Neither one resembles us in the slightest, but I don’t see that as a problem.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your project?

Finally at the end of her patience with her rural existence, adventurous, young(ish) mother breaks out and takes off into the wild unknown taking her much loved small son with her for fresh perspective and childlike wonder.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

I intend to publish the results of my project via a series of blog posts.

How long will it take to write the first draft?

Ideally, I’d like to post as I go along, as a month’s worth of adventures could take a very long time to write up once we’ve returned home.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

While researching this question, The Swiss Family Robinson came up rather a lot!  Perhaps slightly closer to the mark, Paula Horowitz’s Finding Our Way: A Mother’s Journey with her Son also made an appearance.  Horowitz travelled to many more far flung places than France with her son, but she began when he was six, so I may have to track this book down and see what inspiration and knowledge I can gain from it.  There are a great many travel books on sale, and many devoted to travelling with children, but I want mine to be a little different.

Who or what inspired you to write these blog posts?

I’ve been blogging for about a year now and enjoy writing things down, but I haven’t written anything for a while now.  The invite from Karen McCann to take part in this project has inspired me to begin again.  Instead of writing it all down in a paper diary, why not publish it on the blog for a wider audience.

What else about your project might pique the readers’ interest?

I’m always fascinated by how ordinary people live and organise their lives and spend their time.  I’ve always loved history but as time goes by I find I’m less interested in Kings and Queens and battles and castles etc and much more interested in how the ordinary person lived and how the aforementioned political upheavals affected their quality of life.  I enjoy reading that about other people.  Maybe other people will enjoy reading about my month in France with my son.

I would like to pass the torch to the following bloggers and writers:

Sarah at Older Mum in a Muddle writes another blog which is a priceless mine of information and support for those of us who became mothers after the age of 35.  Sarah is a writer with a great many quirky ideas who is currently working on her Next Big Thing – her first novel.  If her shorter pieces of writing are anything to go by, it will be well worth reading.

Kate at Kate On Thin Ice is a writer and blogger with a great many other skills besides.  She is currently regaining her equilibrium after two or three major life events ambushed her all at once, whilst she maintains an internet presence aimed at encouraging those of us who feel we may have lost our way a bit to take life by the horns again and follow our dreams, however big or small they may be.

Anya at Older Single Mum is a writer and blogger.  She writes a blog aimed at challenging perceptions of who single mums are and her writing reflects the eclectic person she is.  Anya is not afraid of a challenge and has two lively boys to prove that.  Her writing is funny, witty, honest and direct.  I look forward to finding out what her Next Big Thing is going to be.

If anyone else would like to join in, please feel free, it’s open to anyone.

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16 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. This is absolutely brilliant – what a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to read what your three tagged ladies have for theirs either. Good to have your blog posts back to read too :-)

  2. Hello Polly.Many thanks for tagging me in this…. your project sounds wonderful – what an adventure for you and the Little Man – and a great utilisation of your blog space too – you could also self publish on Kindle? Have you planned which parts of France you are going to stay in yet? I think you may well have found a lovely niche that suits your passions – travel and motherhood – and I can just imagine you writing such exuberant pieces about your travels – there is such a lightness in the way you write! Now I have to put my thinking cap on! X.

    • Thanks OlderMum! I know you will have lots to say about your Big Project as you’ve hinted at it before a few times, so I’m looking forward to reading about it in more detail. I know you have a busy life but I’m hoping that the novel comes to fruition because I for one would love to read it. For my project, I’ve been looking into staying in a city such as Dijon as it’s quite big and should be easy to get around. I’m interested in the Loire too. As well as many other attractions, there is a very long cycleway which would facilitate interesting travels. Decisions, decisions!

  3. Zazzy says:

    It sounds wonderful and I look forward to reading all about it! Been missing you. :)

  4. Welcome back Polly. I do miss you. Thank you for the tag. Your adventure sounds amazing and I am already envious. I can’t wait to read all about it – coz it’s the stuff my dreams are made of too! A truly great idea X

  5. Mummy Plum says:

    Wow. The Big Adventure sounds great! Am looking forward to reading more about it. x

  6. Lisa says:

    Celia Imrie! pah! WAY too old and crotchety. More like Laura Linney or Helen Hunt, though they are still too old :-)

    • I like Celie Imrie, I read an interview with her recently and I like her spirit. She is older than me, but make up can do wonders these days! Must investigate Laura Linney and Helen Hunt.

  7. Ally Bean says:

    Your plan sounds ambitious, yet doable. Those are the best kind!

    I think that having your son’s perspective on what you see & do in France will be priceless. Does he speak any French? Right there– his language misunderstandings– might make a whole book in and of itself.

    • Thanks Ally. The little man speaks a bit of French, which I expect to improve hugely when we’re there. My language misunderstandings would probably make another book!!

  8. Karen McCann says:

    A wonderful post, Polly! I am already looking forward to reading about your Next Big Thing adventure. And Older Mum is right, this may be the gateway to a Kindle book, too. If you go that route, let me know; I have spent the last year becoming somewhat expert on that subject and have lots of resources to share. But in the meantime, happy travels to you and your son! May all your journeys be grand adventures!