Monday, April 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time...

This is the story of my first romance novel.

I've enjoyed telling stories ever since I was little, when my dolls had more interesting, realistic lives than most of the people I knew.  I don't even remember when I got the idea to put those stories down on paper.  I've been doing it so long it seems writing has always been part of my life.  I've always loved it, and have gotten progressively better at it over the years, but it was always something I did in my spare time, in between all the other things you're "supposed" to do as a responsible adult.  I never thought of making a career out of it.

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I realized that life moves quickly, and often we end up in places we didn't expect.  I'd spent a lot of time in school without figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, and suddenly whatever vague ideas I'd had about my future were turned upside-down.

Through the hormonal haze I lived in for nine months, I realized that nothing I'd been pursuing was really meaningful to me.  When I went on maternity leave, there was nothing I was sad to leave behind.  I found that itself to be a little sad.  I was also starting to think about what kind of work I could do from home, not wanting to have a baby and then promptly go back to... whatever it was I had been doing before.

It was then I heard the siren-song of my writing again.  In the past few years, I hadn't had much time for it, but like an old pair of jeans, it just waited for me in the back of my closet, never quite going away.  So after my son was born, I sat down on my bed, dusted off my laptop, cracked my knuckles, and started my first novel.

Well, kind of.  It always sounds so easy whenever people talk about it: "Oh, yeah, you just have to make a schedule and stick to it."  Sure.  Has any sane person ever actually tried to stick to any kind of schedule with a baby?  It's laughable.  I found a system that works, though.  My boy nurses, so in the afternoon when we're at home (we go out in the morning so I have motivation to shower and get dressed), I stick him on the boob and let him nurse himself to sleep while I type away.

It ain't glamorous, but I'm already nearly halfway done with the first draft.

Writing is a strange mistress.  There are some days when I sit at my computer for hours and barely manage to scratch out three pages, which wind up being such shit that later I either completely re-write them or ditch them entirely.  Then there are other days when I curse myself for not being a better type-er, because my fingers aren't nearly fast enough to capture the cinematic scenes playing in my head.

On the former days, I skulk out into the kitchen afterwards to try to make dinner, convinced that "kitchen bitch" is the only job I will ever be good enough for, and then I burn the steak.

On the latter days, however, I stumble out of the room, bleary-eyed and triumphant, glowing with that glow that comes from being high on words.

And then I burn the steak.


  1. You really are a talented person, number one. I could relate to what you said about making a plan with a schedule of things to do, too. It feels good to make up and plan and attach a schedule to it, but schedules like that never really work. But, keep up the good work and things will work out just fine for you.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the encouragement! Always nice to know people can relate...

  2. Wow, that's awesome! It sounds like serious writing takes patience, but I bet when it is complete it will feel so good!


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