Truth is it takes hard work and time. These days most authors work for a living, make time for their families, do a lot of their own marketing, network to make themselves known, and try to keep up with the newest literary trends. All this is done while we continue to write. That’s not counting first drafts, second drafts, edits, edits and more edits. This happens before we even submit our work. When I began writing, I was told once the author signs a contract, it can take as long as two years before seeing the finished product, and I wondered why so long. Now I know. Even more time is spent unearthing inconsistencies in a manuscript, tweaking, polishing and making it a better, more cohesive story. That takes a lot of time. After going through it so many times I loathe and despise every character and every line of dialogue and wonder briefly whatever possessed me in the first place, I’m still not done. I have galley edits.
In spite of all this, I continue to write. Why? There’s nothing like breathing life into a scene I may have carried around in my head for weeks. Or making one of my characters seem like a real, live person. I carry a note pad with me, because I never know when inspiration will strike. I find myself paying close attention to conversations, body language or the way some place makes me feel. When it does I write it down.
I saw him the other day. It happened when I cut across Market Street and passed in front of the fancy new coffee shop. On the other side of spotless glass, waitresses in crisp black uniforms served expensive coffee in fancy cups and saucers. One man sat alone at a table by the window. No one I knew, just a handsome stranger who glanced up as I passed. Our eyes met and I froze in the middle of a busy sidewalk crowded with impatient people. Annoyed, they parted, sweeping past me like water rushing downstream.