Sometimes the sum can be greater than the parts. This was recently hammered home during a semi-conscious moment when I woke from a deep sleep long enough to come up with a pretty cool story idea. The last thing I remember thinking as the details began to fall into place was "You know, I should get up and write this down before...".
I awoke the next morning with a feeling of dread. Oh no, I didn't write it down, it's gone! Except it wasn't; it all came rushing back to me, much to my relief. Never one to work on one project at a time, I added it to the queue and went about my day.
Not long after that I was wandering around my better half's art studio, watching her work and talking to myself while recording my thoughts in case something good came of it. Out of the blue, I had an epiphany: it occurred to me that two of the stories I'd been struggling with - one of which was the recently formed depths-of-sleep idea - would work if I combined the best elements of the two into one. It seemed so simple when I thought about it, and yet a little too good to be true. But she, my discerning eye and constructive critic, assured me it sounded like a keeper and that I should run with it. So, over the course of the next couple of weeks, I did.
I tossed the ideas around, banging them against one another to see what would fit where. Slowly, from the murky depths of my mind, an overall story began to take shape. An idea became an outline, and I was struck with the realization that this could become not a short story at all, but a novel. My first novel, for those keeping score. Yes, I have one in the works that's well underway, but none have been completed to date.
So here I am, faced with the task of turning this sow's ear into a silk purse. But I think I can pull it off, if I stick to it and watch closely as it unfolds before my eyes. I love the feel of it, so much so that I have temporarily shelved my previous novel in progress at the approximate halfway point in favor of going forward with this one. I'm excited and daunted by the prospect of molding this into its eventual form. Something tells me it's going to flow nicely once I dive in with gusto. I'll be sure to keep a running tally in this space as I roll along, chasing this to the end.
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Photo credits: Biff Mitchell