Opportunity knocked and there was nothing that was going to stop me from answering the door. Writing fiction with Mark Bertrand is the topic for a podcast interview. I’m waiting for the interview with Fictionary, sitting here in front of my laptop on my straight back chair, preventing me from slouching. I’m seven minutes early and grateful to be the first one in the Zoom meeting. Running through the checklist . . . light on? Check. Camera working? Check. Mic plugged in and green light on? Check. Test the sound? Check. Backdrop illuminated? Check. Book ready to show the cover? Book 2 and 3, check. Smile ready? Check. Mood elevated? — I said, mood elevated? hmmmmm

I began using the Fictionary app for writing fiction five months previously. The app provides authors with an automated system used to guide and spark creativity while developmental editing the author’s manuscript. Some people call it story editing. The app wasn’t difficult to use or to learn. Developmental editing involves the most work and it is also the most critical process for the author. This is the step of writing a book builds the relationship between the author and the reader. As the author, this is where I establish trust with the reader.

So using the Fictionary app when writing fiction, or even non fiction, requires me to trust the app will help me in this critical stage of my novel. Kristina arrived in the Zoom room and we met in person, online, for the first time. We communicated smoothly and naturally. As if we’ve known each other for many years; the conversation flowed. Watch the video and see what writing fiction means to her and I and how Fictionary will continue to help make me write good fiction throughout my career.

The reason my mood didn’t elevate when I ran through the checklist above? Less than twenty-four hours before the interview, my wife had taken her bags and walked out of my life. I could have canceled, but it was such short notice and opportunity rarely knocks. Well, I forgot half of what I had rehearsed to say, and my mind was drifting throughout the interview. When life gets hard and bites with sharp teeth I try to hang on to the thought, this is the night. Morning will come and bring a new day.

Healing takes time and if someone leaves me; when someone can walk away from me then I have to accept they weren’t meant to be in my future. I suppose that is why life is a four letter word. Perhaps the experience too will help me to write better fiction.