You are walking. You are walking home from the library in the rain and your ruined suede boots (it's all right; they cost eight dollars) and your long gray-blue raincoat with the fake fur hood and lining you bought at the thrift store for twelve dollars and your red cable sweater and your short denim skirt and white hair barrette. And you reach into your pocket because it is cold and your fingers find traces, the dregs of a brilliant red leaf you found on the sidewalk last week.
And suddenly you are a character from a story, yours:
…the bright leaves I would put in my pockets, forget about, and find, days later, as crumbs, a red line on the seams. She cut the ends off lemons. She grew avocados from seed. She put things from the kitchen on her body: vanilla extract from a deep brown bottle on her wrists, olive oil on her hands to soften them when she was cooking. I remembered a green coat, hair that hit the collar, cinnamon gum.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, that there in italics, is the first paragraph from the novel-in-progress ever posted here. Does that make it real?
You are a character, familiar. You are fine. You will spend tonight drinking blueberry tea, watching the rain, revising. Make pasta with peas and cheese. Bacon would make it better.