It has been five years since I published my last novel, Queen Makers. Five years ago, I was in the midst of a complicated divorce and my own re-invention. I was busy throwing away friendships that no longer served any purpose in my life, and wandering through my cavernous home, glass of wine in hand, recanting all of the ways I had ruined my life. There was a lot of crying - uncontrollable sobbing, really. The ugly kind where you catch your reflection in the mirror and you don’t even recognize yourself, which makes you temporarily stop crying because you’re trying to figure out who the strange person is in your house making all that damn noise. Fun times.
In the middle of all that drama and nonsense, the final inspiration for Queen Makers emerged and I was able to publish it. Within months of the release of book two of my young adult fantasy series, while still tumultuous, life began to make sense again. I found a new group of amazing, supportive friends, rekindled friendships, moved out of the depressing, big house into a cozy apartment, started dating. As time wore on, I was happier and becoming settled. I sat down at the computer with the outline of Rose of the Field staring back at me. My creative brain shut down. I knew what was supposed to happen in my story, but I couldn’t figure out how it ended. Writer’s block is a real thing.
Five years later, life has kicked me in the butt again. It happens. I’m pouring over motivating Pinterest posts to remind myself I’ll be OK; I’m posting passive aggressive memes - the stuff I always say I’m not going to do, and then I do because I can’t help myself, and then I regret it because I’m sure I’m just creating whispers and gossip and looking like the same desperate, sad ladies I pity on social media. Well, pity this...no, I brought it on myself. Namaste.
But in between the full blown panic attacks over attempting to set up an online dating profile - not happening, by the way - and forcing myself to be otherwise productive at work, my creative brain turned back on and the ending of Rose of the Field came to me. Despite my emotional misery, I found immense joy and comfort in re-thinking the entire story.
By now, most people who know me and have actually read my books understand that I draw on my life for inspiration for the characters and story. Apparently, my pure happiness, however fleeting, blocked my creative juices from flowing. Although I’m happy to be back at the keyboard, telling the story of my favorite princesses, the fact that I can only accomplish this when I’m not at my personal best is a little disturbing, if I’m being honest.
Yet, I understand that my literary idols, Hemingway, in particular, poured their guts and souls, and all of their depressing misery into their work. Do not mistake what I’m saying. I would never compare my princess stories to the literary masterpieces of Papa Hemingway, but I felt a bit of acceptance when I recognized the similarities in the “process.”
In any event, having been through this cycle of personal agony before, I’m sure it will work itself out the way it’s supposed to, but in a weird way, I’m hoping it doesn’t resolve until after I have my first draft ready for editing. I know how I wish my story would end, but I’m willing to sacrifice my happiness for the moments of creative energy I have been experiencing and give my princesses the happy ending their stories deserve. After all, my art imitates life and maybe if I’m lucky this time, my life will imitate my art.