~ I remember when I first decided that I wanted to write a book. I knew that it would be fiction and I was so confident that it would be "an intriguing story that you just couldn't put down". A mystery with all kinds of dry, witty internal dialogue, like Chuck Palahniuk's character Vinnie from Choke (a reference only some book nerds will get). One night, I sat down at my laptop and just took off. I was writing! Characters were popping up. Dry jokes were rolling out. I knew how it was going to end (kind of). I had a cool plot twist planned. It was awesome. Then... it wasn't. I stopped one day and just couldn't start again. That was just over 9 years ago. I tried a half a dozen times to continue writing that story, but I could not remember where it was supposed to go. It just didn't feel right. I was lost... and then bored... and then.. I just quit. The story was dead. Last year, a different story idea came to me. I wrote it down in little notes. Then I mapped out the story in a little chart... then expanded the chart... and expanded... and expanded... and.... (you get it). Once I got to a point where I had most of it mapped out, I started writing again... and this time, it just flowed, and flowed, and.... I found myself using every minute that I could spare to write. Very early and very late hours, before and after all the days' responsibilities. This went on for about six months. Last night, I took a deep breath and submitted my first draft to my editor.