The writing of Beautiful Something Else began as a “writerly” challenge between my writer friend Sandra Hurtes and me. We went to graduate school together in New York City and received our MFAs in Creative Nonfiction. We don’t get to see each other too often anymore now that I live in Connecticut.
Well, one summer day in 2011, Sandy came to visit me and we went to my favorite restaurant on the water, Marnick’s. While we were eating, we discussed what projects we wanted to work on next, both of us having written memoirs.
We thought it would be fun to write something just for fun and I thought—romance!
I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but I decided to try. I didn’t know where to start, so I decided to start with where the idea was born.
You’ll notice the opening scene of Beautiful Something Else takes place in a fictionalized version of the restaurant and the heroine’s friend was jumpstarted by my friend Sandy.
I knew I wanted the story to be fun and quirky because that’s how I see myself, so I made Lizbeth a version of who I see myself as or a version of me who could have existed in another dimension.
I also knew I wanted to include some of the subjects that are important to me when I write creative nonfiction, so I wove yoga, self-esteem and body image threads throughout the story.
I have three young children, so finding the time to write a novel had to be made very important in my mind.
I set a goal of 1,000 words a day and just focused on quantity instead of quality. That helped to free me from writer’s block because the goal was just to get the story down. I knew there would be time for revisions later.
I feel proud of myself for accomplishing my goal.
I hope that readers will enjoy following the many self-discoveries that Lizbeth and Chip make in finding their way to more beautiful versions of themselves in Beautiful Something Else.