This is possibly the finest gourd fish you've ever seen, too, because how many gourd fishes are there in the world? This might be the only one.
Even the Good Witch provided a begrudging, "That looks cute." Which would have been a lovely conversation, had it ended there, but then she had to ask if Glynn and I had FINALLY started on The Fifth Brother (sequel to The Sixth Brother, sequel to One Bride for Seven Brothers). I had to tell her we hadn't. So then she gave Gourd Fish one of those looks, as if G.F. was somehow responsible for the delay in our writing production. Then she left the room.
The Good Witch left the room, that is. Not Gourd Fish.
Oh, G.W. didn't go far. Not with her mother, the Bad Witch, lurking in the guest room back at her place. G.W. might have been a tad disappointed by my response but she wasn't crazy. She went into my kitchen, grabbed an organic apple, then returned to ask, "What's taking so long?"
The problem was, I didn't know how to start the next novella. Glynn and I had talked the bones of The Fifth Brother, we knew where we wanted things to go -- and, most importantly, what was going to happen romantically -- but we hadn't figured out the actual beginning scene. This usually falls on me and it's rarely an issue. Glynn encourages me to go wherever I'd like, since I enjoy starting stories. It's usually great fun but, this time, I'd drawn a blank. When I told my partner in word processing, he didn't know what to say. Neither one of us had a clue on what to do.
Gnawing on her (my) apple, G.W. shooed us out the door. (I loved that G.W. was chewing on a piece of fruit. In the past, she'd have gone for a high calorie/chemical-dense Little Debbie stomach grenade. She's doing great.) My friend knew that Glynn and I always walk and talk when we're plotting a tale...if the time comes that we can't walk, that's it, the writing career is over...and it worked again this time, too. Slowly an idea began to form.
The idea we had went something like this: Flora, our heroine, had always wanted a pet but her father, a man-shaped bag of evil, refused to consider the idea. He'd always admonished her, whenever she'd shown affection toward an animal. Now that she lived in Washington, away from his poison, she finds herself drawn to animals again. Maybe the story starts with her feeding one of the beasties on their property. Maybe she's feeding birds. Yes, we decided to use birds. Then Brody, her husband, comes outside as she's tossing a handful of crumbs to the ground....
Enthused, I returned home to start the story. Almost instantly, the words started flowing. The next day, the writing went even more smoothly. I wasn't surprised to discover that none of the finished pages involved Flora's father, birds, or any of the ideas we'd discussed. Somehow "Brody comes outside" was all that was needed to launch Brother #5.
I think our first ever sequel-to-a-sequel is going to move along quickly now. I'm excited.