As a writer, I expect to use my knowledge and experiences for my books. I didn't realize my baggage would get in the way of me finishing a book. This is one of the things I learned from my fellow Austin RWA members last night at our meeting.
I was talking about all the trouble I've been having writing this book and how I used to be able to write a book in 4 months. The first 100 pages of this manuscript were handwritten last summer. I explained that this latest heroine is based on a woman who used to be a friend of mine who mysteriously died. Through our discussion last night (over a few after-meeting drinks), I realized that I still have unresolved issues with her death.
She and I had vowed to stay in touch when she left the job we were in, and she tried, but I was the one to let the friendship fall apart. Often over the next couple of years I thought about her and about contacting her, but then thought too much time had gone by. After I'd moved to Texas, another friend e-mailed me with the news of this woman's death. I took it hard. It's been two years and I'm just realizing I'm still taking it hard.
I started this book with her in mind. I'd planned to dedicate it to her memory and I wanted to give her the happy ending she so deserved. She was a kind woman and a good friend. Perhaps I'm afraid I won't be able to do her justice. Perhaps her story needs to be told in a different way than I'd planned. Whatever it is, I need to unpack the baggage before I'll be able to complete the book.