Updated: Feb 27
No, that's not the age I'm turning my next birthday. It's not the current temperature outside, which is a balmy, if unseasonably warm, 68.
It's the number of times I tried to write OVER MY DEAD BODY. The number of times I fell off the horse. The number of times I dusted myself off and climbed back onto said horse, ego bruised, body mangled and broken, but spirit indomitable. Sure, these were half-drafts, ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 words on one particularly close attempt. It's not like I wrote 34 full-length novels that ultimately failed for one reason or another. But these attempts, however vestigial, all prove that regardless of what I think about myself, I am tenacious. I am Captain Ahab, willing to hunt my white whale to the ends of the Earth and back again, even if it takes 34 trips. Even if the sea is stormy and uncooperative. Even if my white whale doesn't surface that voyage. I've known that OVER MY DEAD BODY had potential since the day I passed a local funeral home, and a flash of an idea streaked through my brain. A mortician's daughter, so wrapped up in death that she stopped participating in life. This character dug her stubby nails into her heart and refused to let go. I've been through a lot with that mortician's daughter. From draft to draft, I've learned a great deal about her. She even taught me a lot about myself. She was the tiny spark that sustained me when depression and work stress almost killed my passion for writing. The small voice in my head that told me to keep going as I sobbed in my dimly-lit cubicle, frustrated at yet another failed attempt at writing her story. The grown-up version of an invisible friend, holding my hand and nursing my wounds when I lamented a broken friendship. Maybe this isn't the book that'll get me published. Maybe, much like my other two YA Contemporary Romance novels, this, too, will die on submission. Even if OVER MY DEAD BODY ultimately goes nowhere, I'm grateful for the study in tenacity. Thank you, Louise, for teaching me that no white whale is too elusive to capture.