On December 31, 2011, I put the last period on the last sentence of my first novel currently entitled Rivited. Gramma has been telling me stories about her life for as long as I can remember. My sister and I would ask to hear more and more about her experiences until we thought we knew the story of every day of her life. We were wrong, even today I can get Gramma talking and be surprised by a fascinating story I have never heard before.
One day while re-telling one of Gramma’s stories inspiration hit. Her life was a novel waiting to be written. For a year or so I thought about it, talked about it, took notes and procrastinated, until one day I was pushed the right way at the right time.
While visiting a friend in the hospital, another visitor (also an author) asked me if I was published.
“No.” I said, waving off his question. “I write but I never show anyone my work.” Then came the push.
“Your telling me you have all of those stories just sitting around, and you don’t show them to anyone?”
“Well, yes.” I replied. It seemed like a trick question. Of course that was what I meant. If I showed my work to someone a little part of my soul would break flake away and burn like a vampire in the sun. “I would be much too nervous to show my work to anyone.” Showing my work to someone was and frankly still is terrifying.
“Laura.” He continued. “You know you talk a lot right?”
“Yes.” I knew. I still know that.
“Well then people are already judging what you have to say all the time. What more is there to be afraid of?”
I stammered something. I shrugged. He didn’t relent, but he did change tactics.
“If you wont show me something, then I don’t believe you write.” He was looking at me out of the corner of his eye having crossed his arms over his chest and turning away to emphasize his refusal to believe in my many hours of effort. One day I will ask my husband how I looked at that moment because I didn’t react out loud, but he could clearly tell he had me.
I wanted him to believe. Believe in the fairy or the fairy will die! Don’t die Tink!
He turned a bit more to face me. “Laura…if you don’t show me your work, how can I show it to my agent?”
I think I gagged. Then he turned to my husband for support. “Don’t you think she should show me her writing?”
Here is when you learn my husband is a traitor. If I didn’t love his so much I could never have forgiven his reply. “Of course she should.”
I think I mumbled “maybe”. I know I had an embarrassed grin/grimace on my face, but before we parted ways I took his card, and I made a decision; whatever the result I was going to write the novel. It was time.
How did I know it was time? It was a feeling deep within me that made it possible to dedicate myself to 2000 words per day. It was realizing that I already had the people in my life to support me (Who knew so many of my friends were writers?). It was so many things fitting into place all at once that kept screaming to me, WRITE!
Guy if I miss-quoted you at any point please forgive me. My memory is imperfect and I was blinded by both the future and by being in the room with someone I was a fan of (I totally think I played it cool). I will be forever grateful for your teasing and your pressure. It was the right thing at the right time.