So I was in a definite funk. We had to move. My manuscript, The Sharpest Claw: A Talking Cat Fantasy, was off in New York, probably munching on a bagel while waiting to be proofread. I was here with day job demands, boxes all around me, and a hole in my heart where my writing usually is.
That’s when I remembered. The answer was a single word, starting with “P,” three syllables. You might think it would be potatoes, and I certainly love them, particularly baked, loaded up with sour cream and chives, and I do eat the skin, but, no, in this instance, it was Pinterest.
I have an account on Pinterest, but I hadn’t been there for about a year. I have seven boards, five devoted to my books (three essentially done and two in the ether); one for dinosaurs simply titled “I Love Dinosaurs,” because I do; one for my favorite middle grade books, and one of images I loved as a child because when I was a child, I vowed that I would write books, and I try to still listen and honor what that kid is saying to me now.
Anyway, the last time I had been on the site, I had brainstormed images for The Sharpest Claw. Now, looking at that board, I could see the challenges I had writing this book. Some of the pictures actually belonged to the next book, The Deepest Growl, which I plan to start working on in August. And I hadn’t met some of the characters who eventually showed for The Sharpest Claw. Where was Cranky Squirrel? The ravens? The celebrity cat reporter? The pitbull who loved to tease? Etc.? They all needed representation.
So I returned to Pinterest. It was something that I would do for only fifteen minutes or so each day, but it made me feel connected. I started thinking like a writer again. I felt happy. I thought that I would like this now to be part of my regular routine while writing books—brainstorming before writing linearly, returning to it in the final stage, while my beloved book is undergoing final corrections. It’s a way to pay tribute, to see if anything is missing, to celebrate, and to start moving ahead, dreaming up the next board, the next book.