Novels are like pancakes: the first one is always a throwaway. Congrats on breaking through!

Eve Messenger's OtherWORDly Endeavors

Dance leap on the beach

My lovely, well-read, Russian friend Irina and I were chatting over coffee, reflecting on how some people seem to soar toward their dreams while others — like us — do not. “Break through the wall,” Irina said. Somehow, those words resonated. Each night after the house was settled I held them close as I stole upstairs and Just Wrote.

I finally started writing on a novel idea that had been kicking around in the back of my mind for years, through countless short stories, writer’s workshops (in one of which I met my future husband), a writing conference or two, a community writers’ network I founded that lived on long after I left it. After that one conversation with Irina two years ago, I began fleshing out the book, one character, one plot idea at a time.

And then I abandoned it.

A few months later, I participated in my first…

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