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If only my ability to multi-task extended to working multiple stories at the same time.

The novel I work now has 48 elements and 80,000 words that may remain and become chapters or which may distil, merge, and coalesce into a reduced number of relevant chapters. The whole of it exists, and only heavy editing changes things within each now.

Yet, this story is the first of ten that will one day undergo the same process and metamorphosis. All exist in some form, one other in digital form, the rest on paper in my handwriting. Each is a storychild to me, each has a gravitational pull upon my heart, creating a wish to work and nurture each as I do Retwined.

There is the 15 year old who accidentally outed herself in class in 1969, the transwoman who as a child encountered a predatory priest. In another, a young mom, also set in 1969, after much soul searching and agonising realises after marriage that she is not heterosexual. Two partners intend to spend a weekend day sailing, only to spend their day apart, trying to survive on the water after a group of young men attacked them. A major college basketball star loses her transgendered partner in an auto accident where EMTs refuse to treat her, yet her nightmare just begins. What follows are accusations she refuses to refute out of love and respect for the memory of her fallen partner. Trust is the issue for a woman pressured by an ex who cheated on her, now faced with a decision whether to reunite or move on. There is the quest of a deceased woman trying to contact her still living sister, only to learn that reality is as abstract a concept as the hereafter. Two worlds find connection through the life and journey of one musician, and finally, there are the Women of Thin Air, who create a life track the overwhelming force of patriarchy cannot overcome.

I wish to work each story and give each life, shine them up, and ready for public presentation; unfortunately, patience is the operative word. In order to make each its best, I must give each their full due, all of me.

As it stands now, once I have Retwined in the form I envision, Haley’s Secret will slide into Word and onto my screen. For six to nine months, I will become Haley, will feel what she feels, and will think what she thinks. I’ll suffer when she hurts, and smile when she triumphs. A writer has to be their protagonist, and in my opinion…they have to love them, too.