When the Flame Dies

Oh, it’s a tragic story, and one that has been told many times before. Alas, I’m going to tell it again.

Girl writes novel. Girl, while writing novel, inevitably falls in love with novel and characters therein. Several months of joyous writing fly by, every one of them packed to the brim with sweet memories.

And then…girl finishes novel. It’s a bittersweet moment, filled with elation and tears. Okay, maybe not tears, but I got a little misty. Girl edits and revises novel repeatedly.

And the love…oh, the love…it’s still there, but faded somewhat, like one’s favorite old shirt that has seen too many washings.

Girl starts a new novel while previous novel is with critique partners. This is when the betrayal occurs.

Girl finds herself falling for this new novel, who swaggered in with a twinkle in his eye and dirty thoughts in his mind. She can’t help herself. She spends her days and nights plotting–literally–and thinking about the characters in new novel, and her adoration grows with every hour.

At the back of her mind, though, that last novel sits patiently, awaiting her return. “Please, come back to me,” he whispers. “Make all the necessary revisions and start sending me out before the postage rate increases. Please….please? Did all those wondrous months we spent together mean nothing? Am I just dust and ashes now, just an old flame that has died out? I must mean more to you than that….”

But the new novel, that scoundrel, calls to her. “I’m pretty and shiny and new, and deep down, you know I’m better than that other guy,” he says with a devious grin. “You can forget about him for a little while, can’t you? We’re having so much fun….”

Girl looks at old novel. Yes, they had a wonderful time together. And yes, he deserves a chance to go out into the world and try his best to make her proud.

Girl looks at new novel. So shiny and pretty…so sparkly. So fun. So awesome in every respect. But that old one….well, some of her loyalties still lie with him. He was good to her, after all.

With a pained sigh, she opens a document…

…and starts revising.