On Friday, I sent a brand-new draft of THE HERO to my lovely agent Michelle. In other places, I have covered the angsty withdrawal that follows the release of my beloved BP. The withdrawal is no less intense this time around. I’ve spent every morning and lunch hour for the last two months with Junior and Chris. By the time I hit “send” on Friday, I was sick of them. By the time I turned on my laptop Saturday morning, I wanted them back.
At least this time I have another story to lose myself in.
While querying agents, I tried to forget THE HERO. I followed the flimsiest threads into stories that unraveled before they began. What I was suffering was not exactly writer’s block, since I was writing. It was the fear that I’d never find another story to obsess me as THE HERO had. What if I committed myself to the wrong book and wasted too many torturous years trying to make it work before giving up and living out the rest of my life unfulfilled?
Luckily, that’s not what happened.
Way back in May, a sentence popped into my head during spinning class at XSport Fitness, right in the midst of a sprint to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” I hit the brake and stumbled on rubbery legs to the check-in desk to beg a scrap of paper and a pen. When I got home, I stuck the scrap of paper in my notebook and went back to THE HERO.
The sentence resurfaced a few months ago. It became a paragraph, and then a scene. The scene morphed into a short story that expanded into a novel, and the infatuation began. I pestered poor F with vague musings on plot points and character arcs and back story. Ideas presented themselves at the most inopportune times—in the middle of the night, in the shower, during work meetings, on the highway. I had found the next Big Project.
I banged out as much as I could, and then when it came time to revise THE HERO, I put this new book aside.
Yesterday—after two whole months apart—I returned to it. I returned on tiptoes, afraid that it might have lost its glamor. Afraid that I might not love it any more. Afraid that it would end up in the heap of half-started stories, and that I would end up that crazy, unfulfilled old lady after all.
But the spark is still there. It drew me right back in and obsessed me all over again.
It’s still untitled and top-secret, but I’m ready to share just a little bit. Just a few scraps of ideas—and the sentence that came to me last May on a spinning bike at XSport Fitness during Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” Click here.