… Then, something magical happened …
She read the battered old manuscript over and over again, making notes in the margins and on scraps of paper that she stapled to the manuscript, until she ran out of scraps and staples, and ideas.
She took out her stylish Smith-Corona daisy-wheel electric typewriter that she’d recently treated herself to …
(They’re actually still being sold!)
and started writing … and writing … and writing.
The story flowed from her fingers as though it were unravelling in front of her. She wrote through the night, stopping only to perform her staff-ly duties (feeding her furry companions) and snatch a few hours sleep. Her dreams tormented her with flashes of dialogue and scenes and plot-lines.
Her characters evolved from two-dimensional alternate versions of herself into their own fully fleshed three dimensional Selves.
In five excruciatingly intense days the 35 page double-spaced story grew into a fully-fledged novel with chapters and a prologue and an epilogue. (She has a thing for prologues and epilogues that she’s never grown out of)
The magic slowly ebbed from her fingers. Her mind released its stranglehold on her Muse, and she typed the title of the story on the very last blank sheet of paper she had in the house:
The woman was wise enough to know ‘The Awakener’ was only a first draft, and that to take the next step to make it the best it could be, she had to learn a great deal more about this writing profession that had claimed her for its own.
She put the shiny new manuscript and the battered old pages back into a slightly less scruffy box and stowed it safely under her bed.
Something like ten years passed by without that box ever being opened again.
The woman shed her life once more. She flew from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other, and began a new life in a country that had bears, and racoons, and moose-es, (oh my!) rather than wombats, kangaroos, and platypuses.
Of the wealth of possessions she’d owned, she only kept enough to fill two suitcases and three boxes. Packed securely in the very center of one of the boxes was the manuscript.
A few months later, on the other side of the world, when she finally emptied the dregs of the boxes, something magical happened …
“You fail only if you stop writing” – Ray Bradbury