COULD IT REALLY BE THAT SIMPLE? Fifteen years ago, I walked the beach of Lake Michigan with my mom. We had just taken KT to camp and wanted to stretch our legs before enduring the long car ride. “I am writing a book,” I said, feeling undeserved and timid. As an accountant, military wife, and mom, what did I know about writing? The whitecaps, steady breeze, and endless blue had coerced this secret confession. Mom’s stride halted. Her red lipstick tightened. Her hands gripped my shoulders. “Just finish it,” she punched, before resuming her stride. As she walked away, all the steps in between seemed to vanish. Could it really be that simple?
She died three years later. We never discussed it again. But, her three little words held a wealth of inspiration. Through doubt, rewrites, and even a complete shift away from the science-fiction-fantasy opus I’d set out to write, to a different genre, I knew the goal. She had set it for me. I smile at the irony. “Memory Lake”, the finished product, is set on the shores of Lake Michigan and involves the camp KT and I attended generations apart.
To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, if you don’t know where you’re going, anywhere will do. Therefore, in answer, “Yes. It really is that simple. Just finish it.”