Ali: The thing with marriage is that there was a while where people were really bitching about their marriages a lot. I had nothing to complain about. Then I started to feel like I have nothing to say. I'm somebody that likes to talk.
Virginia: Writing as much as you can and reading as much as you can are really the cores of how to learn to be a writer. The reading piece of it sometimes gets forgotten. I see a lot of people blogging and putting a lot of content out there. That's great, but you really learn to be a good writer by reading a ton.
Marisa: Ever since having children and now especially also with publishing the book, I really do feel her presence more than I have in a very long time and more than I ever thought I would. I do think she knows the book is coming out. I’m torn between whether she thinks, “Of course Missy finished this book because she's so sentimental and family-oriented. We were so close that of course she had to, in a way,” -- she was very sarcastic and funny. I also hear her saying, “Missy, seriously? You worked on this book for twenty years? You wrote this book and you're getting it published? Seriously?” I can't tell which. She definitely knows. I'm not sure yet what exactly she's saying about it. Maybe both.
Claire: We’re all constantly fighting the chaos that just comes into life naturally. My house, every day, I clean it. At the end of the day, it is a mess. You can let it be a mess or you just constantly work at keeping the chaos at bay. That's part of our human experience is learning how to make the most of the space that we have, whether that's creatively as a novelist trying to make things work, or in the military, constantly fighting against enemies that would like to make our country less safe, or in the case of that character, shaving every day just to keep your performance and your face looking professional.
Kate: I have an idea for my third book in my mind. The way it’s worked for me is characters take up residence in my mind for about six months to a year before I ever write a word. If they stick around that long, then I know that has to be the book. My retelling of Jane Eyre was like that. I didn't let myself write anything because I was going to finish If, Then.
Cathy: There's an essay called “My Meaningless Midlife Six-Minute Fling.” I write about the experience I've had, sadly way more than one time, where I'm in the grocery store and realize that the single-serving snack bag that I picked up and ate while I was shopping, intending of course to pay for it but I ate it during the course of the shopping, realizing that it didn't contain one serving. It contained six servings and realizing that in my first few minutes of shopping, I've now eaten more calories than I'm supposed to eat in an entire day just because I didn't squint harder enough at the label.