Oh, how I miss the fever!

Allow me to wax nostalgic as it nears the second anniversary of my latest novel’s birth. I had written the first one ten years ago, then put it away. In the breach between, I turned to other pursuits and wrote only an occasional short story or poem. I had no plans to write another novel at the beginning of June 2008. Oh, but then … I had a dream.

Soon after waking the next morning, I detailed the dream in an email to a friend. Write it as a story, she said. I did. I felt the first twinge. The story refused to let me go. It poked and prodded and pouted until I produced a companion for it. Then, still not content, they both haunted me. I felt an ache.

The stories wriggled and pushed and shoved until I let them loose. I succumbed to the fever. Through the veil of  my infirmary, I watched the stories consummate their relationship and give birth to a novel, weak and bleating. In my delirium, I heard it whisper tantalizing what ifs.

With glazed-eye madness, I wrote, revised, edited all summer, all fall, all year. I took a dose of critique; repeated every two weeks. I sacrificed meals, showers, sleep for just a few more minutes to write. Finally, after fourteen months, I delivered my book into waiting beta hands. Nope. Not done. Expand, explain, excel. I relapsed and wrote more, all fall, all winter. Edit. Repeat in Spring. Ahhhh.

Now, I wait for a new infection. One that will lay me low with that delicious obsession with character, setting, and story. I am ready. Inoculate me with that live organism. Come on. Do it. Give me that writing bug.

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21 thoughts on “Oh, how I miss the fever!

  1. Lovely post, and timely for me. I’ve been struggling with the decision to put down one story and go back to another. Your description of the passion that comes in writing, the fever, just answered my question – go back to the one that refuses to let me go.

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  2. My infliction is still on going. I want desperately to finish what I’m submerged in now. Meanwhile threads pull taunt and ask, ‘why not me’. Patience, let me get this one, this book that has my mind and heart ensarled out of the way first.

    Now if only I can catch a virus that inflicts me with energy and a dose of motivation…I’d be set. (Hugs)

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  3. Beautifully put! This is me and Delaney right now, she’s whispering to me non-stop and I cannot turn her away. Oh for more time! Hope you find a new novel to consume you soon.

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    1. THANK YOU!!!! I consider that high-praise from Ms. Poetic herself. 😀

      The funny thing is I picked prose poem for my Summer poem and when I started reading examples of that form I realized I already write that. 🙂 Now, Summer is free verse.

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  4. Junkie here! Yes, I’m a junkie too. I just can’t help myself. This makes me want to start a new project, but no, I’ve vowed to finish one of the incomplete three before I begin another.
    Happy Anniversary!

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  5. So much truth in that post 🙂 How addictive is this damn pursuit? Too addictive. Even when it kicks you down, you keep coming back to it. Oh yes, I sympathise!

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    1. We are word junkies, indeed. 🙂 I chase that high you get when the story takes off and you can barely keep up typing, you’re smiling to yourself (or crying) because it’s REAL and you know you’re writing GOOD stuff. Love it.

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  6. I’ve been resisting embarking on another novel. Just write stories, I told myself. But I’ve finally succumbed. This sentence of yours says it all and well: “The stories wriggled and pushed and shoved until I let them loose.” They’re loose now. I’m going to try to beat my personal best of five years.

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    1. I keep trying to make myself write stories too, so I’m fooling myself by writing connected stories that will end up a novel when they’re not watching. 😉

      May the words come in a torrent to you, Cynthia!

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  7. Oh lawdy, I think I’m infected! An idea crept up and slapped me round the ear a while ago. I walloped it back; a strike, straight into the shrubbery taking two daft poems and a slushy romance retrospective with it. It’s back though. It’s doing all those naggy, creepy, pokey things you’ve been talking about. When I read the first comment, I thought Yes Christi – put it down, that’s the thing! Then I realised you didn’t mean euthanasia so I’m lost. I have to face it. I want to write a novel. I don’t want to write a novel. I’ll probably write a novel. When that happens, I’ll be here every day, empathising, agonising, and tearing myself to bits over its gestation. Finally, I’ll understand what you all know too well – it’s flippin’ hard work and there’s only you at 3 in the morning when you need, NEED, to completely revise the entire plot. At least for me, 3 in the morning will be your midday(ish) so I can bleat in real time with someone who knows how it goes. Brace yourselves!

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