My first book came flying out of me, and I know that sounds a bit dramatic to say but it is the truth. I felt like I could not type it fast enough. I woke one morning after having the most intense and vivid dream of my life, thinking that would make a good book. I shrugged it off and went on about my day, I wasn’t a writer. Yet, the more I thought about it, I thought it would make a good book. Maybe I could write it, just sit and write down the story, it sounded simple enough. I laugh at that now. I had no idea where to start, but as my husband says “put your arse in the chair.” I sat down opened my Word program (I now prefer Scrivener) and did not get up for almost a week. That week, I wrote through a cold, multiple technical issues, and two small kids at home. The teacups multiplied as I worked on, plates with food that had been easy to microwave were stacked around the desk. By day three, I realized I needed to shower, but I just couldn’t stop. I could not get the words out fast enough.
Finally, at the end of the week, the first novel I ever wrote was done. It was one of the best moments of my whole life. I had written a love story set with two unlikely people set in Silicon Valley. I thought it was brilliant. I am very lucky to have a few trusted people in my life who told me it wasn’t. “It had promise, keep working on it,” they both said. Normally I would have just walked away, thinking, I am not a writer. There was something different, something in me had changed. I felt like walking away would have been giving up on my characters, people who I had created. I went back to work, fixing plot holes, and adding depth to my characters.
I wrote and rewrote and edited again and again. The biggest compliment I ever got about the book was from Jon who said, “I just can’t stop thinking about your story it is so good, the writing is.. well..it is written by someone who has never written anything before.” I went back through the book again working at it, trying to get it right. Finally, I got it to a point where I was ready for a few beta readers. I sent it out and the feedback was mostly positive, but Jon’s sentiment was echoed, the story is good, the writing needs work. I wanted to do more but I knew I had exhausted my efforts at this point. I needed to let it rest.
I put the book aside, knowing that I needed to let it rest and move on creatively. I moved on to other projects with the understanding that I would go back to that first book eventually. It has sat untouched for almost three years. I have often thought about picking it back up but I knew that the time was not right. I needed to wait.
That first book was important to me and still is. I set a large part of the book in Half Moon Bay, California. I told myself that the next edit/rewrite I would do in Half Moon Bay. I needed to be there, to smell the air, walk along the Pacific, hear the ocean. As a working mother, a student and co-owner in a business it was easier said than done. I just kept telling myself, “someday you will go.” I told myself that when I could find the time to get out to the coast I could rewrite the book there. I was firm with myself, I am not to touch the book until then.
Then by happy circumstance, two weeks ago I was informed that I would be going to San Francisco for work. It is scheduled so I can stay for a long weekend. I could not believe my luck when I got the news. I was in my car, waiting in line at Starbucks when I got the tickets in my inbox, it was real, I am really going to Half Moon Bay! I started to scream with excitement. I am normally a very composed person. I scared the poor barista who must have thought the worst. As tears streamed down my face, all I could say was, “I’m okay, I am going.” She must have thought I was nuts but I didn’t care.
I got to choose where I wanted to stay and of course I chose Half Moon Bay. I booked a hotel on the coast. Now I get to smell, see and hear the ocean, like the characters in my first book. I am going to rewrite it in the place that it is set. It is an amazing treat and I am so grateful for it! I am sure I will write about the experience. I leave two weeks from today and I cannot wait to dig in! I know a long weekend will not be enough time to rewrite an entire book, but it is a good place to start.
David and Naomi, here I come..
(They are the characters from the book.)