I know I've neglected you for the past month and a half, but it was for a good reason. I've been busy doing what I always talked about doing, but rarely did before: writing.
After you last heard from me in September, my life outside of work was consumed by one and only one thing: finishing a novella. As soon as I woke up in the mornings, I chugged down a smoothie and opened my laptop to work on the story. As soon as I came home from my shifts, I stuffed a sandwich in my mouth and went back to the story again.
The story is not a happy one. Writing it was not fun. It was miserable. It was draining, and depressing, and more than once I made myself so sad I ended up crying on the floor. (The upside of living with crazy artists: when they heard me sobbing and I explained it wasn't an existential crisis, I'd just broken my own heart with the story I was writing, they congratulated me and left me to it.)
But no matter how unpleasant and unhealthy my process was, I couldn't stop working on that story until it was done. I had to get it out of my head and into the world.
The novella takes place in 1890s San Francisco. The heroine's father is a Chinatown gang leader, and her mother is one of the enslaved prostitutes he bought from kidnappers in Asia. The heroine falls in love with a new gang initiate, whom she learns is a detective working undercover to investigate her father for sex trafficking. In the end her father kills the detective, her mother kills her father, and the heroine escapes to Oregon to raise her son alone.
The story is not "literary" like my previous works. It is not the slightest bit intellectual or original. It's a sentimental tragic romance we've all seen a hundred times before in movies and books...from the perspective of the gallant detective. I wrote it from the perspective I know: the perspective of a woman who can't be with the man she loves because she's related to a criminal.
I published the eBook on Amazon five days ago, on Sunday. Accomplishing my goal made me feel briefly victorious, but since then I've felt disoriented and adrift. I hate these empty days between projects, when I'm restless and bored after finishing a story, but I don't have the energy to start a new one.
Four people have purchased the novella, and I know them all personally. Dad bought one. One of the relatives he mass-emailed the link to must have bought another. The third went to Charlotte, and the fourth to Jane in California.
Yep, California. After the curtain went down on Jane's last play, she packed up and moved to Los Angeles. She said after her messy breakup with Charles, she realized she shouldn't be waiting around for Mr. Moneybags to appear and settle her future for her. If she wants to star in the movies, it's on her to get on a plane to LAX and start knocking on doors.
I miss Jane a lot, and frankly I'm scared for her because she's so nice and Hollywood isn't. But I'm proud of her for taking the leap, and I expect in a couple of years I'll be seeing her face on the big screen at the Regal.
Kitty has gone back to school, which was a relief to us all. With Lydia awaiting trial, we worried Kitty would insist on staying home until next year. But after visiting Lydia in jail a second time, Kitty's attachment to Lydia waned suddenly and not-so-mysteriously. She said she wasn't going to let Lydia's dumb choices ruin her life, and she left for OSU in late September as scheduled. She even said something about studying abroad. I guess we can't call them The Twins anymore.
With most of the Bennet daughters embarking on new adventures, only Mary is left at our parents' house. When I meet her for lunch, she complains that Mom and Dad have no one left to pester but her. Mom criticizes everything she wears and drags her to JCPenney sales every week, and Dad interrogates her about her job and pushes her to read the books he's into. In short, I've never seen Mary so happy.
YOU ARE READING
Lizzie Bennet's DiaryRomance
"Today I met a man, and I thought he was my soulmate, but then he turned out to be a conceited, judgmental, small-minded lemon-sucking jerk." When free-spirited writer Lizzie Bennet meets handsome lawyer Will Darcy at a party, she's smitten...until...