Life happens. The Epic chat group slowly, slowly drifted apart as a cohesive unit. I talked with Friend (her name is Megan) on and off, maybe two or three times a year. "Hi, how you doing?" "Great! How about you!?" etc. It was always nice to chat with her, but it was definitely on and off.
Then, one day, about six years ago, I got this idea for a theater fantasy book.
Megan being one of the primary thespians in my life (AND a writer), I couldn't wait to tell her about it. I hope I still have the chat transcript of that conversation because it was so energized and excited. She caught on immediately to what I was hoping to achieve, asked all the right questions, made some fun suggestions.
I wrote the book, sending her updates every single day (even when it was a rough draft). She was with me through every iteration, every painful growing experience. Cutting X character, changing names, darning up plot holes.
At the same time, something else was happening. In between caring for this love child of ours, we were growing closer as friends. Through job changes, joys and hardships in love, and going through a very similar heartbreaking experience in our respective immediate families, we achieved a closeness I think we'll be enjoying for the rest of our lives.
All because of one little Book that Could.
It hasn't been published. At least not yet. Agent Java and I are trying to sell it, but it's a tough niche. But even if nobody ever wants to buy it, IT DOES NOT MATTER ONE LITTLE BIT. Apart from being my first standalone original work, creating a world I love to live in, and meeting characters who are part of my very fiber, this book gave me one of the most precious friendships of my life in the real world too.
I'm not sure what inspired this post, exactly. It's not Megan's birthday or anything like that. Just a serendipitous moment of abstraction as I was walking back to my desk from a snack break just now. I felt compelled to write it down, because there are times when I need to remind myself in the middle of frustration, rejection, and creative doldrums that the beauty of creating art really is in the journey. Every one of my books has a similar real life story of its own, even the fanfic. This is just the example of choice for the day.
Love you, Megan. Thanks for everything. We'll definitely do it again sometime!