My Novel, The Phoenix


Usually in the depths of winter, my energy level falls to near zero as my blood turns to icy slush; this year appears to be different – at least with regard to writing.  Perhaps it’s just desperation or panic that sends me onward but I think it is something else – something I’ve previously not experienced.  DriveAmbition.  Oh, crap I’ve probably jinxed myself…

Right around the time of my latest full-blown anxiety attack, I started writing as if the world would end if I didn’t.  Something deep inside me knows that writing is the only way out for me – it’s what always draws me back from the edge of the abyss.  When I have what I like to call “Elizabeth Gilbert moments,” when I’m face down on the bathroom floor at 3 a.m. sobbing, my inner voice says, “Just write”  instead of “go back to bed.”

After returning from the doctor’s a week ago, I sat at my computer and resurrected “The Novel,” a project I’ve had a love/hate relationship with for years.  I laid down something like 58 pages in three days.  The story is old – it’s been rattling around in my head for at least ten years. This past autumn, at 270 pages, it burst into flames and destroyed itself.  Ok, so I tossed it into the firepit and set it alight. I know it sounds insane to ditch something after getting so far, but I’m still convinced it had to be done.

The story has emerged from the ashes.  I’m now up to page 90, seven days later.  Of course, the story isn’t perfect.  The characters have issues.  At times I know there is shit flying from my fingertips but the story feels better.  This bird has to fly; once it takes off,  I’ll figure out where we’re going.


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