Hello blog. It’s been awhile. My excuse is I’ve been writing, which is a pretty good excuse if you ask me. Since, like, I’m supposed to be a writer, and, like, my next book’s due to my editor May 1, and, like, I have approximately ten pages left to write. This is when things start getting weird. I’m excited that she’s almost done, but I’m also feeling a little protective, like I want to grab her and hold her tight and not let her go. (Yes, apparently my book has a gender. I told you it’s getting weird.) She’s been my baby for about a year, and we’ve grown extra close these last few months, getting cozy in the big cushy chairs of my favorite coffee shop, scribbling madly on the train, stealing moments to jot down dialogue when I’m supposed to be working at my day job. Now she’s almost grown up, ready to send off to my editor in big, scary New York. And then what? Empty nest syndrome? Mourning her loss? Moving onto the next story and cast of characters like nothing happened?
I still miss Beautiful. Of course I have some copies at home and I get to talk about the book all the time, but it’s not the same as being inside it, living and breathing that world and those beautiful, broken characters. I miss Cassie and Sarah. Oh, how I miss Sarah. I still get a lump in my chest whenever I think about her. Sometimes I wonder what Cassie’s doing now, if she’s enjoying her new school, if she found the loving friendships and peace she so desperately needed. I wonder if she was able to stay off drugs, if she was able to learn to stop running from herself and her pain. Maybe her parents started paying a little more attention. Maybe they all started spending time together as a family. Maybe Cassie learned to love herself just a little bit, enough to give her the strength to say No when she needs to, enough to make her hope for something better.
But they’re not real, are they? Their lives are contained in thin 6×9″ pages. There is a beginning and an end to their story, a front a back cover. But why doesn’t it feel that way? Why do I feel like they’re somewhere close, just around the corner? Why do I miss them like family?
I don’t feel ready to say goodbye to these new characters. But I guess I have to. I will reluctantly let them go. Because if I don’t, you will never get to meet them.