When I was 5 and wore a plaid dress and patent leather shoes, I believed I'd write a book. When I was 8, I wrote pages and pages on lined notebook paper which I carried around the house. For a while, I let myself love literature as an English grad student. This was where I fell in love with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and I looked at brochures of places where writers go to retreat and write. When I was older, I realized how competitive the writing world is backed off.
So tonight I went to a book reading by Rae Meadows. She's a friend of a friend, and wrote Calling Out, a novel Publisher's Weekly describes as follows:
After a rough breakup followed by a few months of wanly suicidal gestures like "switching to nonlight cigarettes, not washing my hands after the subway, forgoing my seatbelt and driving fast," Jane (no last name) packs her life in her car and leaves New York, headed west. When she stops in Utah and takes a job answering phones at a Mormon-approved escort service, she is adamant that she won't go any further into the sex trade than the front desk. But perhaps inevitably, she finds herself working as an escort and coming alive through her "dates."
After the reading my friend turned to me and said, "I think you have a novel in you." We've never talked about this, so it surprised me, and I told her how far back in my life and how often I've thought the same thing.
I don't think about it much. It comes up when people hear about my travels, and they say, "You should write a book!" But, for the most part, it's buried, kept tight under lock and key. But a lot of things are surfacing in me these days, and this may be yet another.