I'm in the writing valley right now, shopping some projects to agents, wondering what will happen next. I've been in this place of a different sort of work for about a month now, grinding along, sending out queries, sticking my nose weekly into my color-coded Google doc of victory and rejection. I haven't been writing at all except very sporadically here and of course for my day job. I've been reading and training for a half-marathon and watching the World Series and lying in my hammock soaking up the last rays of this unseasonably warm October.
A few nights ago, I had one of those television dreams accompanied by smell and sound and touch. When I woke up, I had the seed of a new story. I wrote the elevator pitch in my writing notebook. I write ideas for books in there all the time, but this time was different. This wasn't just a phrase or a scene -- it was a story.
I haven't done any plotting yet. I haven't written down anything but those three sentences. I'm not ready. My head is still in the projects I'm querying.
When my agent was shopping THE OBVIOUS GAME, I forced myself to start THE BIRTHRIGHT OF PARKER CLEAVES to distract myself from the waiting and watching and panic attacks, not because I really knew where I was going with it. PARKER CLEAVES started as a feeling I wanted to capture, and I hope my story wove around the feeling well enough to do its job as a vehicle. THE OBVIOUS GAME started as a series of stand-alone scenes I wanted to link together in a meaningful way to shed light on anorexia and bring hope for recovery. My process felt sort of Rubiksonian each time.
This story idea ... this is new.
Since it happened, I've walked around remembering that I have something to be excited about the way I did when I first got engaged, first got pregnant.
I have a story in my head! Will this keep happening? This is AWESOME.