It's now late at night, and I am just now realizing that writing books is just a defensible, excusable way to cover for being crazy. Looney. Insane. The talking to the people in my head kind of thing that puts people in years of psychotherapy with prescription pills on the side.
I have relationships with people that don't exist.
It's true. It's late and I can hardly wait to wave my husband off to bed and settle down with my new friends: the characters in my books. As Babs would say, "Lord have mercy!" These people are real to me! When something sad happens to Babs, I feel sad. When Babs is determined and plowing through life with the kind of gusto I wish I had, I am empowered. When she feels overwhelmed and wants to crawl into a ball in the corner and close her eyes and wish life away, I feel that way too. It seems sometimes that the only time my life that is completely my own is when I vacation from writing.
I long for their company. I can't wait until Logan shows up because I am like a giddy school girl around him. He is rebellious and brilliant and completely a surprise. And I never know what color his Mohawk is going to be. And I loathed the appearance of the church ladies until today, when I got a glimpse of what they are going to be, and how they are going to totally be the saving grace the Babcocks need, and now suddenly I see them with entirely new eyes. And I feel all motherly with Ashley. And I am over the moon excited that she gets to be the guinea pig that changes the face of diabetes.
And sometimes, when I talk about these people, I think about the characters I left behind. I think of Caroline and Tate and Nathan, who are languishing with the dust bunnies waiting for me to decide if I think their story is worth taking out again and struggling to make more salable. My heart actually aches for them, the same way it aches for my real friends that have somehow slipped away over time and distance, and I am almost desperate not to lost them the way I have lost others. I want their stories to matter. And I ache for Tate, who is the best of the lot, and got the rawest deal.
And even as my heart hurts, I realize I am crazy. This is insanity. They are words on a page. Figments of my imagination.
I keep telling myself this. In time, I might believe it's true.