Penny invites me into the living room of her apartment and offers me a seat on the blue couch.
“This should be easier than the last time around.” She laughs, taking a seat beside me as I pull out my notepad and pen.
“In your first story, you had just gotten the results of a blood test after a mysterious illness. How is your health now?”
She smiles, relaxing into her seat. “Better, thank you. It turns out I had—well, the easiest way to put it is my digestive tract was really messed up and allowed multiple food allergies. But on the upside, that’s what got me so into cooking.”
I nod. “So, you’ve given up on your novel in favor of a cookbook, now?”
She springs back to attention. “Absolutely not!” A crimson flush comes over her face. “The time isn’t right, that’s all. When it is, then I’ll get back to it, but in the meantime, yes, I’m working on a cookbook.”
“What if the time is never right?”
“It will be soon enough.”
“But isn’t that something that’s in your control? Some people would say you’re just being scared into stagnation.”
She takes a slow, deep, breath, swallowing a few times. “My life and my future are no one’s business but my own. They haven’t spent a day in my head and they haven’t tried to write my book. So, while they’re entitled to their thoughts and feelings, they have no understanding on which to base what they’re saying.”
I shift my position, scooting away. “Would you consider, if he was interested, taking your new project to the last editor you talked to?”
She shakes her head no.
“When do you expect your cookbook to be released?”
“Right now I just want to finish getting it written. We have about fifty recipes, but I’m aiming for another fifty plus a few drink ideas.”
“Does it bother you to be working on something besides your novel?”
Penny bites her lip and after a minute, she covers her face. “Yes.” Is her muffled answer. “Novelist is the only job title I’ve ever had in my head, so this departure is taking some adjusting to. I feel like a failure because I can’t do my novel right this second.”
“I’m sure that editor’s assistant would agree with your being a failure. What would you say to her?”
She begins to speak before clamping her mouth shut, her gaze on fire, her shoulder shaking. “I’d ask her how many times she’s been interviewed for an online article.”
“What would you say to someone who gave you the advice of just write?”
“That may work for some people, and it’s worked for me at times, but it’s not a cure-all.”
“Final question, where do you see yourself in ten years?”
A slight smile returns to her face. “In a cabin in the woods, curled up by the fire while working on my next best-selling novel with a mug of something from my next cookbook.”
Thank you all so much for reading and spending some time in my imagination! I’m sorry this post was late. I was a bit sick yesterday which is when I usually write my blog posts. Anyway, for the next two Monday’s I will not be posting. I have some family coming in from out of town and want to spend as much time with them as I can. (-: I hope you all have an amazing next two weeks and I look forward to having new content for you!