I’ve been a reader my entire life. Just ask my mom and she’ll recount the number of times she had to turn off the power to the bathroom to get me and my book out of the bathtub. Or ask my husband and he’ll tell you what it is like to go on vacation with a woman who brings 8 books for a week, runs out and then complains that she already read everything in the tiny local bookstore. In my nearly thirty seven years of life, I have read thousands of books.
I read and read and was convinced that I could not write. I didn’t have a story in me. I would lie awake at night sometimes and wonder where all the words I read would go. How could not a single one of them have stuck around and begun the first sentence of my own tale? Slowly my literary accomplishments started to feel more and more like failures.
And then came Madeleine.
She started small, like a boy in the days before he can claim the title “boyfriend”. She “forgot” her socks one day in the back corner of my mind. Then I found her toothbrush in the bathroom, her favorite foods in the fridge, bottles of wine I don’t like in my mental wine rack.
I woke up one day and she was everywhere.
Her name is Madeleine. She’s kinda like me, but she is sooo not me. She has her own back story and experiences. Her own husband and kids, career and dreams. And most definitely her own problems. You see, she wants to fit in. She wants to warp and mold herself to be the missing puzzle piece in the lives of the people around her.
But she has a lot to learn…about herself and her family, about the people around her. She’s going to have to decide whether its better to paint, fold and crease yourself to fit into the space that’s already there, or to come out all sharp corners and elbows and make your own place in this world.
I have no idea where she came from, but she is most definitely occupying all of the gray matter in my skull.
She has a story and she wants me to tell it. And I’ve decided to give in.
I’m going to start working on my first full-length fiction, a book called Mansion House. And it’s all about Madeleine and the cast of people that surround her. I want to invite all of you to come along with me. As my writing progresses, I’m going to drop little tidbits here and there to whet your appetites and introduce you to the woman I’ve come to love. And I really hope you’ll love her too.
Maybe some of those millions of words I’ve read have stuck around in my head after all.