About 7 years ago, before I started writing Sophie and Spot, I was writing a collection of short stories. As a recent attorney who had only very, very recently switched careers, I was intimidated to take on an entire book right off the bat.
Somehow, writing a children's chapter book seemed like a more attainable goal for me at the time. So that's what I wrote, and I'm proud that I did.
But now, all of a sudden, that old collection is calling to me.
A few weeks ago, I sat down to write my to-do list for the day. As I consolidated various scraps of paper and tidbits of ideas, I came across an idea I'd jotted down for a new short story.
As I typed up my idea in my notes file where I save all my good writing ideas "for someday," I suddenly didn't want to stop. So I kept writing and writing. A few hours in, and I could see the story taking shape. A few more hours, and I was filling in the outline and adding details to flesh out the story—little finishing touches to bring it to life and add depth.
I saw the story unfolding in front of me and I followed it. It was a beautiful process. Sometimes the paragraphs came out in reverse order, but for the most part, the story unfurled chronologically, shining a steady light on the next sentence and then the next.
By the end of the day, I had finished the first draft and was working on revisions. By the end of the weekend, I had finished the cover, obtained permission from my family about some parts that include them, and sent it to a physicist friend to review the quantum mechanics parts about time travel. Only 5 days after I'd typed up my note, it was published.
It was a very quick delivery, though I suppose that since this is inspired by part of my childhood, it had been gestating for plus or minus 37 years and was simply ready to join the world.
It's now available here as an e-book in PDF format.
Oh, and I never got to the rest of the things on my to-do list that day. But guess what? They weren't that urgent after all.
A short story in PDF format by award-winning author Amber Byers
A mother’s heartache at putting her young children on a plane, sending them across the country for six months at a time.
A longing so strong it could flood the O’Hare airport with waves and waves of grief.
A love powerful enough to fold the fabric of time and space as easily as a mother folding her babies’ clothes into a suitcase.
For Jade, it all aligned with her belief in the power of mind over matter, the power of prayer. She hypothesized that it was just a matter of tapping into existing power vortexes. And, most importantly, a matter of Belief.