NaNoWriMo done in 30 days, thank God

Just finished 73,000 words about Francesco, the young man from Assisi who overcame post traumatic stress from battles as well as a year-long imprisonment before being ransomed by his rich mercantile father.

I put a Kabbalistic Jew in prison with Francis, whose real name was Giovanni. The mystic had recently converted to Islam, becoming a Sufi preaching love and non-violence, and this holy man introduces the 21-year-old prison mate to meditation and the teachings of the Buddha via the Silk Road connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the land of Mongol.

Francis, no virgin, becomes mentor for a 17-year-old  Assisi girl named Clare. She falls in love with him, but he elevates their love to a spiritual plane where they use the physical attraction to obtain the sensual love one can only find in the Divine. (Try this some time, my reluctant celibate friend, and you may find your Beloved will never leave you and always comfort you one broken heart-break after another one!)

Francis was 50 percent Italian, 40 percent French and just a little Greek .(Hey, this is a novel, remember. I’m Greek and a 2012 study using DNA tests showed the land Francis French mother was born was founded by the ancient Greeks. Twelve percent of them — the French men and woman of Provence, France — had Greek blood in ’em! Whose to say he wasn’t part Greek?)

I had lots of fun twisting . . . uh, I mean . . . using historic facts to support my story line. As a journalist I did it all the time. My motto: “Never let facts get in the way of a good story!” I wrote for the National Novel Writing Month, an international group that encourages a person to try to write a book in 30 days.

I told of a Francis who takes on several popes and tries to convert a Muslim Sultan before he finishes his journey among his “Lesser Brothers,” those who would later be called Franciscans. The love of his life, the girl Clare (still a virgin!) starts the Poor Clares, or more commonly known as the sisters of St. Clare. Both she and her Assisi brother would administer to the poor, bathe and bandage lepers, and fight like the dickens to keep their order free of politics and the corrupting influence of money. None in their order were permitted to touch money, let alone use it for exchange in the 13th century.

Now I’m off to editing this novel. I gotta find some copy-editing service to make it more acceptable. I can’t spell a whit, and my grammar is worse than, well, I was going to say that unlettered lover of animals Francis of Assisi, but he did give us some memorable writings. Who could ever forget Brother Sun and Sister Moon. (No, he did not write the Prayer of St. Francis. That was not published until 1912. Parts of it may have been plagiarized, ripping off the wonderful sayings of a Brother Giles who probably inspired the prayer as one of the companions of Francis.)

Well, wish me luck.

I’ll keep y’all posted!

Contoveros at it again. 

(For an update on the next venture, please see: Writing to end it all is just the beginning)

9 comments on “NaNoWriMo done in 30 days, thank God

  1. […] (For a look at last year, please see the following: NanNoWriMo done, Thank God! […]


  2. Francesca says:

    Hi Michael! Are you looking for a copy editor? We’ll, look no further. Email me.

    Francesca (from the drum circle at Gorgas Park)


    • contoveros says:

      In the book, “The Alchemist,” there is a line that says that if you really want something in life, the universe will conspired to get if for you.

      Thank you Francesco. This reply is a follow-up to our e-mail conversation and, what I hope will be, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”


      • Francesca says:

        I am certain, too, that it will indeed be a long and beautiful friendship, Michael. Yes, let’s discuss your book and what you need to get it published.

        Is there some other way we can communicate that is not so public?

        Looking forward,



        • contoveros says:

          Yes, Francesca,

          I can be reached at

          I will also send you an e-mail from that address with my cell phone number. You will notice that I will eventually remove your e-mail address from this blog post comment. Both the correct one and the incorrect one.

          (I still can’t get over that a book I wrote about “Francesco” is going to be edited by a “Francesca.”)


          • contoveros says:

            Well, it simply wasn’t meant to be, Francesca. I found a great source for writers. CreateSpace helped me edit the book and get a Library of congress affiliation, as well as provide me with marketing help and a cover.

            I got it published on September 12th, just about 10 months after I had finished writing the manuscript in November, 2013. It was a labor of love. I did not edit until the month of December, and that’s all I did for the next several months, all the way up to, and including, the week before I clicked on a link requesting CreateSpace

            to “Publish.”

            I didn’t know it would publish it so quickly. That same day, my book appeared on I was on vacation in Alaska and had not gained access to the Internet until my return more than a week later. I had intentionally stayed away from computers and all news of the 48 states in the world below.

            On my arrival back home, I got the greatest surprise of my life. I was a published author and I had the proof of it right on!

            You can look it up . . .”Francis of Assisi, a Novel Awakening to lady Poverty.”


  3. souldipper says:

    I’m truly impressed, Michael. It seems the story still excites you and surely that is the impetus needed to push onward towards publishing. Good luck with the edit – the long suffering process of detaching from our babies.


    • contoveros says:

      Yes, you got it right . . . they’re babies!

      I feel as if I just gave birth and have to suckle the little critter until he can open to the world on his very own.



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