Guess what, weirdos? I started writing a novel. I know, I fully expect me to fail, too. I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

I have nothing to lose, and I'm feeling, in spite of still struggling with depression almost on the daily, weirdly flush with creativity lately. So I'm going for it. Because while I love blogging, I'm no Dooce. I will never be a professional blogger. I just can't do it. I'd be okay with monetizing my own experiences, but I wouldn't ever want my loved ones to feel like they're material for me to bank on. That wouldn't feel right to me. I don't want to collect a paycheck for telling stories about my friends, or my boyfriends, or any of the people that come and go here on Elliequent. This is not meant to be a judgment of bloggers with monetized/sponsored blogs. This is just a personal statement of what's best for me.

Anyway, every most days I have a good dose of creative energy - even though half the time it never goes anywhere. Sometimes some of it goes here. And that feels really, really good. Sometimes some of it ends up on Instagram. Also good, though in a different way. But neither of those spaces, while they are fun and emotionally and intellectually rewarding, are putting Merrick Grain Free Buffalo in Chaucer's bowl. And guys, that shit is expensive.

Of course, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm writing notes and creating an outline. That seems as good a method as any. To, you know, write a novel. Which, did I mention I'm trying to do that? Sorry, it's still a little surreal to me. The other thing that seems like a good method is to just fucking start writing. Hence the two paragraphs below. A tiny little sliver of proof that I'm doing that.

I don't know how much I'm going to share, or even how much I should share. I know jack-all about copyright law, etc. But I do know I want to share some, occasionally, at least at first. I just want to get in the habit of putting it out there, in the world. A bit of accountability I guess? The excitement of seeing it looking back up at me? I don't know. If all goes well and the writing takes off, at some point I know I'll have to stop publishing it here. But for now, I feel like want to introduce you to some of the characters that have been milling around in my head, in one form or another, for years now. You guys have been so amazingly supportive and encouraging of my efforts, I honestly couldn't imagine taking a crack at this without inviting you along for the first few miles of the ride.

I'm extremely, incredibly, nauseatingly excited. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can really do it. It doesn't even make sense to me, considering a) how low I still feel, in general, and b) the fact that I've never written any fiction longer than a few pages. But for whatever reason, I feel ready to try anyway.

What the hell, right?

So this is where and how it starts, because it has to start somewhere. Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, Ellie created Caper...


It wasn't boredom that sent Caper to St. Lucius Public Library the day she first engaged in bibliovandalism, and it wasn't curiosity. It wasn't teenage angst, and it wasn't misdirected anger. None of the motives usually attributed to the bad behavior of a high school sophomore applied, in the Case of the Fake Dedications. It was, in fact, empathy - or something like it. At least, that was the term the school psychologist would use later, in her defense. She didn't see her actions as destructive, he'd explain to her father, her teachers, her perpetually perky guidance counselor. She thought she was helping people. She saw herself as a benefactor.

But these terms - empathy, benefactor - these had no place in Caper's thoughts that drizzly afternoon, as she stole quietly down the slate blue Berber of aisle KF 3423 - KF 5987. She was too busy worrying whether she'd made the right choice to bring her Pentel Lancelot .5 mm (and a spare pack of Super Hi-Polymer pencil leads, naturally), or if she should have brought the .7 mm. The .5 made for a pleasingly light hand, and was particularly suited to the cursive script on which she prided herself. But the .7 was just so satisfyingly thick. More permanent-seeming. Caper chewed her lip nervously, second guessing not her decision to commit a crime, but her weapon of choice for committing it.