27 Oct TBT: Stranger Things
This TBT blog post goes back to 1999. People often ask me if I encountered anything strange as I wrote Demon. While cleaning out several folders, I came across this journal entry from the first few days of Demon’s writing. At the time, I was a housewife two-thirds through a manuscript years in the writing.
May 10, 1999
Monday, I decided that instead of my usual practice pages [of whatever comes to mind], I would spend those pages spinning ideas about this character, Lucian. I wrote about a page and a half of ideas and a possible outline/order for a book, and gave it three possible names. I stopped for a break and saved it to three files.
About twenty minutes later my computer went “Zzzzt!” and died. I could smell the burning smell. I had blown the power supply.
Tuesday: no computer. I decided to work on my [current] novel by hand. Debbie suggested the Lucian idea came from God and I should put my novel aside to pursue this one first. I discarded that thought—I had 5 years invested in that story.
By Tuesday night, I had nothing. I was staring at the page. So I took my notebook to the couch and started brainstorming the Lucian thing. I wrote and wrote and wrote and couldn’t stop because I was afraid it would end. My fingers hurt, and I kept going. Finally, when I told myself I was fatigued (in fact I felt energized by the writing), I stopped to count the pages: 16. I thought had been there about 40 minutes. I had been writing for two hours.
The things I wrote were new and revolutionary to me. There were patterns and insights I had never before considered. That Adam’s fall was not the first. God’s pattern of searching out the less favored. The frightening beauty and light of angels—even fallen ones.
Peggy sent me an apologetics book on Satan. It confirmed many things in my notebook.
May 9 I went to Barnes and Noble and read a book on angels almost in entirety. Found more of the things I wrote Tuesday in there.
I have since written a few pages here and there, and plan to work this weekend. I have gotten ill just yesterday, however. In fact, I felt so drained yesterday that working on this at all seemed an impossibility. Even just typing those sixteen pages seemed too much. But I began another of the book’s sections and wrote 2 pages, and then another.
Today, I had plans to do nothing other than make a few necessary calls, eat and watch movies. And yet on the way home from the bagel place and Blockbuster, I have more to write. So I just wrote a page and a half. Also, I have felt prompted to record all of this, so here I am.
My husband and I argued last night. I am sick. I’m afraid of what might happen to me. I’ve wondered if bad enough things could happen that I wouldn’t want to write this story.
There are other doubts, too—that I am not being politically correct enough. That I am blasting current things and societal trends today for which I could get blasted in return.
And then I thought: maybe this is what I’m supposed to think.
This story is clearly not of my design, and this project is one of such momentum and clarity, that I have submitted to writing it.
I have asked for protection, my friends are praying for me. Not that I would ever be arrogant enough to tempt the devil, but I now say “bring it on.”
I am ready to expose him.
Lucian’s story was finished in less than three months. It took six years to sell. By the time Demon, newly rewritten to include the character of Clay, hit shelves, my marriage had ended, I had gone to work as a consultant, and the house in which I penned Demon’s first lines (as well as the sofa, which sprouted an infestation of mice during Demon’s first draft) were up for sale.