Books are parasites. They live inside us. Growing. Feeding off us. And, sometimes, they can make their authors crippled with fear.
The only cure for these parasites is to write them. We have to get them out of our system. And, if we’re lucky enough to be able to publish them, we share our cooties with readers. While this form of the parasite tends to be a lesser version, some books do stay with the readers for a while. Don’t worry, that’s a good parasite.
Once we are able to cure a parasite, a new one usually pops into place. But that’s Ok. That’s healthy. A new story enters our mind, we write it, get it into the world and then rinse and repeat.
I’ve had a parasite stuck with me for a while. Those aren’t exactly healthy. They cause frustration, hair pulling, outbursts, teeth gnashing, involuntary housecleaning and cold sores.
So, I went to see the doctor. A whole team of specialists to be exact in the form of West Texas Writers’ Academy. There I spent a week with the brilliant Alexandra Sokoloff learning how to plot and many afternoons and evenings with a wonderful tribe of fellow patients. It was tough, tears shed (both from laughing and really truly crying), and only a little bit of hair was pulled, but at the end of it all I plotted my way to a new parasite. One that I am already head over heels in love with.
And, the best part, I think I found a cure for that parasite that’s been living inside me. With the gentle nudging of the new one eager to take up residency in my body, I think it’s time to extract this sucker, let it infiltrate some readers and get the world ready for the newest affliction.