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Chapter 4

There was this block, this fear of utter sucking failure sitting in the middle of my brain. It’s been there since the beginning of summer vacation when I first started writing The Madness of Sorrow. Any time I set goals for myself, that block would pulse and grow vaporizing my confidence like ‘The Nothing’ from NeverEnding story. Denial was my friend for a while. Its comfort kept me from sobbing and cursing and throwing my laptop away, but it couldn’t last. Not forever. When reality set in, the question all wee writers fear, the one we know could be our very undoing showed itself to me. It’s howl bled into my soul until it was all I could think about.

Today, as of this minute, I look back and wonder why I didn’t quit? Writing still made me happy, but every sentence felt like affirmation. No, the words always seemed to say, you don’t have what it takes to be a good writer. I hit bottom barrel last week. The night I talked to Christine Powell was the first night, ever, that I actually considered quitting. Giving up. I know all writers doubt their abilities and think they aren’t good enough, but for me quitting has never been a real option. Never, ever, ever. That night it seemed like the only sensible thing to do. Her advice didn’t just get me through; it changed everything for me.

Every time I come to the computer now, I smile. My heart lifts; my fingers twitch merrily. I can’t remember the last time writing was so much fun for me. Today, when I was tapping away this is what my words seemed to say: Yes, you’re a happy writer and you can do it all!

I’m sure there will be more moments of self-doubt, but in this moment I’m overjoyed. Jenny’s got her groove back. With that in mind, I will share a tiny teaser from Messy Death’s fourth chapter. 

Two weeks had passed since my little dip in the Windy, and though I had answered some questions regarding my rescue I hadn’t answered any of the ones surrounding Lent.

Along shore, most the trees were stunted in height and dead. Their spindly branches frozen in death, reaching for the river with curious, skeletal arms. My spine tensed, rebelling against the eerie shiver coming on. A cool, floral breeze kissed across my cheeks as if to say, “See? It’s not all bad here. You’re safe.”

My eyes drifted beyond a field of tall, quivering blades, through rows of live, matured trees and settled on the two-track I’d walked in on. It was time to go. Even with the reassuring smells and shock of bright color, this place was too dreary to feel safe in.


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