It was easy to journal 1000 words a day. I thought of starting a blog about how each of us can make a difference, the things we could do to make fear and sensationalism a much smaller portion of our world’s dialog, to help people see the good in life and in themselves, to focus on growing love instead of control. I had no idea at the time, but much of what I was writing would become The Rules of Life series. But, blind to the obvious, I sketched out other blog ideas.
Looking back over my journals, the concepts of what would become all nine books were there yet one critical element still illusive, just beginning to stir: The Rules.
My words increased to 2000, not that I was counting. It just flowed. I’d get mad if someone interrupted, ripped me out of an indescribable flow, a groove that I didn’t want to let go of once I started. Every time the kids and I got in the car and listened to those books, I kept thinking about the process of writing.
I don’t recall how I found it, but somehow, I came across the Music City Romantic Women’s Writers group. I looked for excuses to miss it. But irritation pushing me out the door, I drove to Franklin, TN that Saturday afternoon to find myself at a retirement home. I sat in the car for a long while, creativity on full-tilt, thinking of a reason I could miss it. The retirement bus moving away from the entrance, I watched the occasional person pass through the doors. Unable to find an excuse or lie to myself, I grabbed my notebook and a pen to entertain myself for an afternoon comparable to picking weeds.
Directed by a nurse and the smile of a 92-year-old woman who appreciated my youth, I entered the theater. Rows of seats climbed in ascension, women of all types and histories clustered in groups. I sat alone at the front, nearest to the door.
Frustrated, I sat committed and listened to things I just couldn’t relate to. I wrote on a scrap of paper, “Oh God, what is my purpose for being here?”
Moments later, a published author of young adult fiction took her place at the podium on the left. I think she had traveled from Kentucky. She had two kids and a husband and spoke of the seminal book that framed her approach to outlining her ideas. I was so busy writing my question to God that I missed the name of the book. But I did capture her name.
Back at home, I tucked the notes away and went back to what I knew. I was waiting for some flash of brilliance but it wasn’t coming, something was in the way. The Rules were pressing to come out, words alluding to their presence showing up in each journal entry, but I was too attached, unaware of how they worked.
Looking back on my journals, on April 26 and again on May 7, I wrote “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” I had no idea what was behind those words.