When people ask me if I’m working on another next book, I’m pleased they’re interested, but feel a little guilty because lately I’ve been engrossed in making little felt toys. Prior to setting up my Etsy page, which was done on a whim, at the suggestion of a friend who has loved my holiday ornaments over the years, I’d been diligently working every day on my third book. I wrote my first two books, both of which deal with illness, because I had to. In order to heal and make sense of my life, I had to write, write, write every day, get lost in my memories, and hopefully come out with a better understanding of the world, and my purpose here. Writing my first book helped me process some major childhood issues, and the second got me through more recent struggles.
So, what about the next book? Another memoir? Yes, but it’s about the years I was physically strong, ambitious and foolishly adventurous. It includes the time I spent in Turkey, as a fearless and virginal 18 year old, when I fell for a charming Turkish rug dealer. Blinded by ignorant love, I repeatedly put myself in harm’s way as we traveled together through Turkey and Europe. Of course I ended up with a broken heart, but it was worth it. The pain fueled my ambition and more madcap pursuits.
I’d originally written the story as a novel, to protect myself from embarrassment, humiliation, and potential legal problems, but hated the final product. I can’t write fiction. I thought I’d put my heart into it, but found it severely lacking, so I went back to the first person singular. In December I was half-way through the rewrites when my attention was consumed by my Etsy ornament project. Now the writer inside keeps poking me, saying, “Hey, what about me?” Does a blog post count? I’m a little scared to jump back into my book. Working on cute little felt animals is much more whimsical, and provides quicker gratification, especially when I get orders on Etsy. Is that so bad? Can I trust that I’ll know when it’s time time to write again? Maybe a break from writing is healthy. In the meantime, I’ve got some smiley faced Valentine’s sloths and otters to make.