Fact is, I did try my hand at a novel 5 years ago, in the throes of my manic depression. The result belonged more in Psychology Today than on the NY Times bestseller list. It was up! It was down! It was up and down! I swear you needed Dramamine to read it.
I am intrigued by the possibilities of make-believe. I stand in line at the supermarket, inventing back stories for my fellow standers. Mr. Tenderloin and Asparagus is frantically wooing the girl who is ready to leave him. Mrs. Giant-size Pampers is wondering if she can afford to buy food after she's taken care of her baby's diaper needs. The teens with the cart full of Oreos and Tostitos have the marijuana munchies. The dapper elderly gentleman with the solitary chicken breast and single tomato will go home to an empty apartment, with Turner Classic Movies for company.
Part of my problem is my severe ADHD. I simply cannot keep track of a plot, and often lose interest before I have even named all my characters. I read about successful authors who create complex charts detailing everyone's comings and goings. I envy those who can home in on Conflict and Resolution, and tailor a manuscript that brings both to life. One of my friends in my writer's group worked on a novel set in 19th century Rockport, MA for years, and recently finished it. Casey has a distinctive Victorian-era voice, and I look forward to reading her book. I don't think I could ever go down that road myself. And yet...
So I’ll keep writing my truthful essays about my actual life, knowing that there is a world of mystery and fantasy contained within. And if anyone asks me if I write fiction, I’ll nod and say, “Maybe.”