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NaNoWriMo: Day 1 of Where the Light Enters

I hopped out of bed yesterday morning with a big smile on my face. Yesterday I started writing the first draft of my first novel, Where the Light Enters. Working from my outline, I strung together 4,041 coherent words to form the first 5 scenes of the book. Two of the main settings have been introduced as well as all of the main characters including the heroine, Emerson Page. There’s plenty of conflict and the secrets are piled high.

Below is the first bit of Chapter 1. I’d love to know how you feel about this first rough draft and what questions spring to mind throughout the passage. Please excuse typos, grammar mistakes, and any typographical inconsistencies.

Books whispered their secrets to Emerson Page. She ran her hands over their covers and felt them breathe. When she stepped inside the rare book section of Stargrass Paper & Books, long-dead authors rolled out the red carpet for her—a new exuberant audience of one.

She descended the gleaming staircase and felt the glow of the warm lights enter her heart. The bookcases cradled books of all shapes, sizes, and colors as the wound their way up toward the sky. Emerson was certain they would take her toward heaven if not for enormous Tiffany glass skylight that capped the room. Stargrass was Oz for book lovers like her. Here, she was home.

One small volume with an intricately carved cover caught her eye. Emerson adjusted the thick frame of her glasses and concentrated on it. She couldn’t remember ever seeing it before. It was just below a sign that had one of her favorite quotes scrawled across it: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. ~Albert Einstein” She strummed its gold tipped pages and caught a startling flutter of her mother’s scent—the rich smell of vanilla and cinnamon.

“Hello, new friend,” she said. Her smile beamed, her eyes widened, and her mind opened to its possibilities.

“Your mother loved that one, too, when she was your age,” said Jasper Peacock as he re-shelved an oversized book. Friday, Emerson’s dog who was dozing in the corner, immediately stood at attention with his ‘service dog’ bandana slightly askew.

“So you’re Nora and Oliver’s daughter,” said the woman standing next to Jasper. Emerson recognized her from the neighborhood and in her mind nicknamed her ‘the old lady who dances everywhere’.

“Emerson, this is an old friend of mine,” said Jasper. “Emerson Page please meet Irene Dorchester.” Irene extended her hand to Emerson.

“You knew my mother?” she asked Irene. Emerson noticed Irene’s eyeglasses had a handle on them that she used to hold them to her eyes. There was a small red light located in the upper right corner of the right lens.

“From the time she was born. Your mother was a remarkable young woman. Still is.” The small red light of Irene’s glasses pulsed like a laser.

“Where did you get those glasses?”

“So intriguing,” Irene said peering more intently at Emerson through her glasses. “What a lucky combination to have your mother’s heart and your father’s mind.”

“Truman made these for Irene,” said Jasper. “One of his many inventions that take something very old and make it better than anything new.”

“And that includes old ladies like me!” Irene and Jasper laughed. Emerson admired people who could laugh at themselves. 

“Irene,” said Jasper. “I’ll let you know what my contacts find. That book is going to be tough to find, but we’ll get it. It will take us a bit of time.”

“Doesn’t everything?” she said. “Emerson, it was a pleasure to finally meet you. If I were you, I’d commit that book in your hand to memory. It will serve you well.” Irene glided up the stairs and out through the front door.

You can also follow Emerson’s adventures on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Here is a gallery of images that inspired my scenes. I didn’t create any of them and I don’t own the rights to any of them. I gathered them all from various Pinterest boards.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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