Begin at the beginning
Even if you have no idea where you're going, you gotta start somewhere, right? It sounds right. I'm not sure if that's a quote I heard somewhere or one I made up myself, but I like it.
For the longest time, Lullaby was the only book I could think of. Maybe it's because I left it sort of done but not done - I gave up on it before it was time to get super serious about it. I had a draft I couldn't stop editing but that wasn't actually getting better, so I tabled it. Then a really, really long period of time passed during which I had what felt like absolutely no ideas. It was a long time before I could even come up with topics that even felt blog-worthy, let alone short story or novel potential.
When the idea for my new book first came - the one I'm calling Dark & Twisty until I settle on a permanent title - I couldn't even describe the nugget of a concept in any coherent way. It was more like a vibe, a problem I could see and knew was the start of a story, but I couldn't quite articulate how the drama I could feel might form some kind of an actual plot. And as funny as it sounds, Pinterest is my go-to when I'm feeling stumped. It always, always gets the creative juices flowing when I see interesting photography.
This photo is one of the very first images I found that made me stop and say, "Wait - that's it. That's my girl. That's the girl in my Dark & Twisty story. She's tall and blonde and mysterious and she plays the piano." It wasn't much, but it was something - a face and the beginning of a body to carry the load I had begun to dream up. And I'm not going to lie - it's a heavy lift. I'm not kidding about this book being both dark and twisty. I'm not even sure if she'll be sympathetic, though I firmly believe she should be. But she felt real as soon as I saw this picture, and after that twenty more photos caught my eye, and then my imagination ran wild.
Her name is Melanie, and I'm excited to share more - but I'm still learning myself.