It would be very nice to say I know exactly where books come from, that one does this, slides that over, arranges the plotting blocks just so and…voila! A book arrives, like a baby being born after a requisite nine months.
Instead, it’s more like casting spells or gardening or building a relationship. Or maybe it’s not like any of those things. Inspiration is magic, and it depends on nothing so much as just stuffing it full of whatever it thinks it wants, and even then, there you are sitting at your desk and you pick up a pearlie marble, a very small irridescent crystal ball that used to sit atop a smoky purple bottle your friend Jaye gave you a long time ago. The bottle was broken in some tragic business involving cats or moving, you can’t remember which, but the irridescent pearlie rolls around on a little lip beneath the computer screen, and sometimes you pick it up to peer through it at the mountains, liking the look of the upside down world. And although you have done this a million times, or at least 150, inspiration blazes right out of it and lands on the page with a funny little chuckle. The work was moving pretty well before, but there is suddenly something much better there, and who knows how long it had been lurking in some drawer in your imagination.
Trust it. That’s what you remember you have to do with books and making up magic things like books and essays and poems, you have to sit back and let the girls (or maybe they are elves, after all) weave some magic with the cloth you left lying around.