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As I was putting the final touches on MY GRANDPA’S SECOND WIFE, I convinced myself that it was the last book I would ever write. In past years, I’d always had an ever-growing list of writing projects in my head. But now, every item on that list had been completed. I had no creative ideas left. I told myself I was ready to turn my attention from writing to another creative outlet.

Then, out of the blue, I felt something scratching at my brain. Another story was coming on. I didn’t welcome it at first. I tried to ward it off. But I opened the door slightly to see what was there, and the story came pouring in. It hit my brain like a torrent of water from a broken dam, with the ideas coming so fast that they left me feeling disoriented and off-kilter for a few days.

I liken the experience to the onset of the flu. You feel a slight fever coming on, but you deny that it’s happening. You mentally try to will it away. Then, the symptoms hit you full force. You can do nothing but let them wash over you until they’ve run their course.

Thankfully, the torrent of ideas for my story has subsided to a trickle. I can now manage the flow as it comes in, and it no longer disrupts my daily life. The most distressful part of my fever has dissipated. But one thing I know for certain: I am compelled to write this story. My symptoms won’t completely disappear until the project is done.


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