Back in early 2017, Ryan, my trainer, had just proposed to his girlfriend and wanted a nice place to throw the engagement party.
“I know the wedding planner at the Montage,” I told him. “I’ll hook you up!” So what if his budget was tight. Jules Valentine was a hopeless romantic. She’d make it work.
Needless to say, Ryan was thrilled and stretched me for an extra long time that day.
After our session, I searched for Jules’ number on my phone and was shocked when I couldn’t find it. Seconds later, that shock cooled and hardened into terror. Because I had just realized that Jules Valentine was not my friend. She wasn’t even alive. She was a character in The Dirty Book Club. Yes, she was a wedding planner, but not at the Montage. Pretend Jules worked at the also pretend Majestic.
How did this Dirty Book Flub happen? I’m too lazy to research it, so here’s my theory:
You’ve heard writers talk about “being in the zone” right? It sounds pretentious, I know, but it’s a real thing. It’s that coveted locked-in, hyper-focused feeling we get where writing feels less like thinking and more like listening. On these RARE days, my brain seems to be dictating the story and my only job is to get it all down. Distractions fall away. Self-doubt is bound, gagged and stuffed in the closet. The Starbucks application in my desk drawer remains blank.
Unfortunately, those zone moments don’t happen until my deadline is looming and I am writing around the clock. And both of those things were happening when my flub took place. The more hours logged, the more I was drawn into my fictional world and away from my real one. I lived inside my settings and became my characters. I had to see through their eyes and think their thoughts. So the good news is, this could have been worse. I could have thought I was Jules Valentine and handed poor Ryan my card. And no, he doesn’t train me anymore. I started working with Luke Hobbs*. Have you seen those biceps?