Today I officially turn the page from Brimstone Soup to the one next up (Creed, I've missed you madly!), at least until the next stage.
It's scary, sending one thing out in the world and making another exist at all - although not as scary as the idea of not writing, not at least trying to become the person I was meant to be.
A few days ago while I was cleaning out my office, I found the very first spark of the very first idea for Brimstone Soup - two pages scrawling the initial idea while Libba Bray spoke at the 2004 SCBWI conference in LA (which, in a stroke of fortuitous circularity, I will be attending in just a few weeks!). I kept thinking that more or less, the story hasn't changed since that initial spark, but I was surprised to see how much the story thickened and deepened. With every draft (painful and grueling as they were...all seven of them so far), some new, exciting thing popped out, something that seemed to have been there all along.
My friend, Annie Gage, and I were talking about the novel writing process and how you keep thinking, "Yes, I found The Theme!" and then a few months later, "No, wait, this is The Theme!" I even found an old blog of mine where I thought I'd hit on the theme, though I remember having that same experience a few months ago - the chills, the thunderous weight of the moment you realize, "Wait, wait, wait. THIS is the theme." I think we've been right every time, only chipping away at the complex layers of what it means to write something as truthfully as possible.
At least, I hope so. And now I get to start the process all over! Well, not quite - rather, I'm picking up where I left off a few months ago. I wonder what will be the same and what will be different - besides, well, everything.
PS - a cool, but also sad thing - I finally was able to buy the www.brimstonesoup.com URL, even though this means the Brimstone Soup comic strip under development is now defunct. Sad, because I, for one, was very curious to see it come to fruition.