At the end of March, on a day I met a friend at the airport and had coffee and looked her in the eye as she said "just write the book, Elora. I know you have it in you," I started the next piece of Stephanie's story.
I couldn't tell you how it happened. At first I just processed verbally and worked the kinks of plot out with friends who know and love and understand these characters. I held it all loosely in my hands because who needs a deadline?
And then I realized—oh yeah. Right. Me.
I've heard it said once that every human is a story with skin.
I'm 30,000 words into the manuscript now, and I have beta readers and people who call me out in public to make sure I'm writing those words. I have a title (that I'm kinda sorta in love with) and a cover release date and an editor in waiting and new characters that make me giggle while writing (totally healthy).
On September 18, a little over a year since Every Shattered Thing went live, the next chapter of the Shattered Things series will be released.
I'm learning this time around that writing doesn't have to be done in isolation. Often, the words themselves won't come to you without quiet and contemplation. It's nearly impossible for me to write fiction with music in my ears unless I know explicitly what will happen in the scene and I need it for the mood. I wrote much of the first draft of Every Shattered Thing in complete silence on the couch in my living room. No one even read it until I was almost finished and I thought why not? It's not like I'm going to publish it or anything...
But this book? It's being written in the midst of community and that's perfect, really. Because the community forming within the pages is breathtaking and redemptive. Despite the broken pieces still offering jagged edges that can break through skin and bone, these characters are learning the power of second chances and new beginnings and how the past will always come back to haunt you—it's what you do with that haunting that counts.
And sometimes, you know, that includes new friendships that remind us of the beauty of life.