Today we are banished to the back porch due to fumes from the floor finishing chemicals. By the end of the week we should be able to venture into the rest of the downstairs. Believe me, we’re ready!
But yesterday it was time for me to shape up and look at my empty computer screen, wondering what the hell Ali Reynolds was up to.
If you’ve heard me speak, you know I regard myself as far more of a storyteller than I do a novelist. And when people go so far as to refer to me as an “artist,” it tends to get my back up. But yesterday, faced with page one, chapter one of a book named Credible Threat, I had my moment of artistic blank-slate angst.
Sitting here this morning, I’m imagining Michelangelo standing inside the Sistine Chapel, looking up at that vast expanse of ceiling and wondering, “What the hell am I supposed to put up there?” Despite the quotation marks, that’s not a direct quote because I was using my literary license. I’m pretty sure he would have been asking that question in Italian. Ditto for that huge chunk of marble. Did he stand in his workshop, looking at that gigantic slab of marble already knowing that David was standing inside it wating to be revealed or did he wonder, “What’s inside this sucker?”
So Credible Threat has had a name for more than a month now—a month of utter chaos around here. Book tour ends, moving begins. Furniture from downstairs has to be moved into the dining room or master bathroom to prepare for the flooring job. Furniture from the moving van has to be off-loaded into the garage because it couldn’t go into the house. In other words, there hasn’t been a bit of space inside my head for figuring out what kind of credible threat. Who’s making it? Who’s the target? And why would Ali and her friends be involved rather than law enforcement? Not only that, where and when is this book going to start?
Yesterday afternoon, Ali finally let me in on her secret. Credible Threat starts at a High Noon Halloween party where everyone is supposed to show up dressed as a super hero. When Ali answers the front door in her Wonder Woman costume, who should be standing there but Arch Bishop Francis Gillespie. And the thought that went through her head? “What I wouldn’t give for an invisible plane right about now!”
So there you have it. That’s as much as I know, and now my blog readers know more about my upcoming Ali book than my editors do. So stay tuned. Let’s see where this blank slate takes us.