Six months into 2013, and the question is where am I in my writing? What’s the big picture plan here? Because it’s shifting and changing as I try to get my hands around it and how do I take care of this fluid thing? How in the hell do I keep it going?
Five years ago I started writing fiction with a purpose. With cracked knuckles and the dizzying acceptance that all that dreaming with ink stains and made up stories carried on drifted away thoughts would be what I would Be. I was Nina. I was a writer. Yes, I was still all those other things, but the girl I had been growing back in that purple room surrounded by paperbacks and painted daisies would get her turn to Be too.
So, I wrote. I wrote hard. I stayed up nights with a toddler waiting in the morning, and I wrote in a closet because that was the only place I could fit my monster computer. Living back home with your parents after becoming a parent can strip you of pride, so you just go with it. You feverishly write in that closet and then you upgrade to the garage until it’s too hot to live, and you just write. You write, and write, and write.
And I did.
Then I began to research publishing way back in 2009.
I blog and Twitter stalked. I went to the bookstore and bought this massive tome about agents. I started writing a query letter. I entered a contest with shaky hands and a racing heart hoping to get my submission in time to be judged and I DID, but then I got it back with no critique beyond how my word count was too high. I knew it was. I’d done all that obsessive research. I KNEW this, and yet I didn’t know enough yet to know better.
Alas, I shelved them. To my drawer they went and off into life I ran. My husband and I got out of my parent’s house and finally found our own and became shiny new homeowners. We thrifted and Ikea-ed and he sawed and I painted and we began to build a home for our babies in our old (new to us) house with the big oaks and grapefruit tree by the lake. I got a job at a library surrounded by books I loved. We had a second baby. My family grew.
The little girl in the purple room surrounded by paperbacks and painted daises waited.
I let her out this year.
We’ve been furiously and feverishly writing about a girl named Daisy who lives in an orange grove. She was a first chapter that sat in my computer for three years. She was the girl running through those trees toward the boy with steady feet, strong back and sad eyes. I heard her call him Beau and felt his worry, but he couldn’t help himself from catching her.
The eternal student in me is taking notes and wondering where her highlighter is. I’m fascinated, terrified, overwhelmed, and lost in the magic of it all. I’m obsessed again and sitting in an orange grove.
I’m back in a purple room surrounded by paperbacks.