Lost in a Story

            Lately, I don’t feel like I have much to say. Well, let’s be honest… it’s the novel. My fiction muse has me deep in her thrall and every spare moment I have, I am scribbling down the opening chapter of Book Two. (Without having finished the editing on Book One… yes, I know, very naughty, but my muse just won’t listen to me anymore!) All of my creative energy is wrapped up in this–the story has seized me and will not let me go. And truthfully, I would not have it any other way. It is a thrill unlike any other, and when the writing is in me this strong, things happen. Ideas spark inside me, the story branches off in wild directions that are infinitely better than my original plan, new characters appear out of nowhere and demand to be included… and I burst into uncontrollable giggles of excitement (or even wicked cackles, depending on what idea just struck me) in the middle of writing, and even have spontaneous giggling fits at random moments while doing something else because it is that brilliant.

           It’s fabulous, but it comes with a price: at times like this, I am consumed by the story. I cannot sleep at night because I’m thinking about it, and when fatigue finally claims me, I dream it. All day long I have fragmentary phrases floating in my head, sentences I am constructing even while I work on something else, eat, watch TV:

…her arm still flung across the journal as though to protect it or thrust it away.
Cassie returned alone at dusk…
the glow of the muted TV flickering at her like some unintelligible language

           It’s a fairy tale, did I tell you that? Even if I didn’t, you may have guessed. But it is not just any fairy tale: it is the oldest one of all, and it is complex and dark and terribly beautiful, if you will forgive me for saying something that sounds so egotistical. It is the story of an ancient civilization, of 200 generations of women, of a particular mother and daughter; it is a story of blood and roses and magic and secrets… and it has run away with me again. And someday I will put my pen down, take a moment to straighten the haphazard stack of pages, turn back to the beginning, and read you a story that has been woven as fine as silk, as layered as time.

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