A month or so ago, I heard from an old friend. Lisa was my BFF in elementary school and then on through high school. Then she started college, while I got married and had kids. We didn’t see each other every day anymore, but when we did get together, we easily picked up our old rhythm. For years, through marriages, divorces, deaths, we’d go our seperate ways for a time, and then meet again.
When we got back together for drinks a few weeks ago, we tried to figure out how many years it had been. Way too many. But still, the friendship was the same. We quickly caught up and continued with our same easy rhythm.
It’s kinda been like that with the book. Almost ten years later, a lot of things have changed. There are iPods now, not CDs so much anymore. And we watch DVDs now, not video cassettes. Nobody wears watches. Everybody texts.
Those were the easy changes to make with the revision. The bigger changes were my main character’s motivation. (She has a goal on page one and then forgets it for 100 pages! Not good!). Also, I need to rethink a whole chunk of subplot (of course in the messy middle!) that didn’t serve the story at all. So, a little more difficult to revise than I first told myself, but nothing I can’t handle.
I’m mostly having having fun. And what I realized this morning is that the main female character has a tight friendship with a woman that feels a lot like my friendship with Lisa. I think Lisa is the reason I got the idea to revisit this novel and do something with it. She asked right away about my writing, and we talked a lot about it. She got me thinking. And then, a plan was hatched almost out of the blue.
It was just time, I guess, both for me and Lisa to reconnect and for me to revise this story, a story that feels in part like a fictionalized biography of our friendhship. What happens is different, but the feelings and the rhythms are the same. 150 pages in, what Deena says to Patti, I can hear Lisa saying to me.