Regarding this post: I thought I had posted this a long time ago, but I can’t find it in the database. If I did post it, I apologize for the repetition. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a transcript of one of my meetings with my characters. It was written some time ago — at least six months — but it’s still pretty relevant. I ask questions; the answers in bold face.
So, who wants to get this story started? Elizabeth?
No thank you very much. It’s time for someone else to have a turn.
You know me better than that.
You can’t handle my story.
Lily. Come on.
Possibly. Let me talk it over with Simon. But you do realize we’ve been away from Paradise for a long time?
Look around this village, you’ll see I don’t have time. And please don’t ask Ben, he’s distracted enough as it is.
But Hannah, I can’t just ignore him. Ben?
Happy people make boring fiction, I’ve read that on your weblog a number of times.
You read my weblog?
We all do.
Jennet! You’ll get us started, won’t you?
Ye ken we spend half the year in Manhattan, aye? I fear I couldnae do it justice.
I mean no disrespect, but I hardly know you. And Gabriel isn’t here. He’s never here. Go up to Lake in the Clouds if you want to talk to him.
I don’t tell stories the way you do.
Don’t you play games, missy. I know you’ve had your eye on me this whole while.
Shouldn’t I have my eye on you? It’s your turn.
You think you so clever, but I’m wise to you. I surely am.
I don’t know what you mean.
Is that so? And ain’t you the one who pulled me out of thin air? You know what’s holding things up, you just don’t want to face it.
Now I’m curious. Go on.
One thing you keep forgetting. You know us all because you gave us breath and bone alike, but we know you too. We know you down deep.
Wonderful. So tell me, why don’t you: why does every path I try dry up? Why won’t any of you talk?
You make me laugh, you do. You say you listening, but you ain’t. Not really. One of us whisper something in your ear and you turn away.
You mean that image I keep getting.
You know I do mean just exactly that.
The  family around the table and the terrible silence.
Didn’t I tell you? You know already. You just don’t like what you know. Last time you come to stay with us was hard. Took a lot out of you. Took a lot out of Hannah, too, but it’s been ten years now for Hannah. She had the time to heal and catch her breath. Get her feet back under her. You got to rush back in. I ain’t surprised you dragging your feet.
Hey. I sit here writing and rewriting every day.
Uhuh. Like a child digging in sand with the tide coming in. Now, don’t you think for one minute I ain’t took note of the fact that you changed the subject. You said something about the  family around a table and then you turned your back on it.
So I need to start with the ?
I ain’t said that. You the one tapping away, putting the words down. I’ll say this one more time, and you had best take it to heart. You forgot how to listen to us, because you lost your talent for sorrow. You want to tell a happy story, but there’s more going on here. We got happy, sure we do, but that’s just the sugar that makes the medicine go down.
I don’t think that’s it.
No? And here I was thinking you needed help. So what is holding things up?.
There’s just too much story to tell, it’s overwhelming.
Lot of story ain’t never slowed you down before.
Times so much happening so fast, my head like to bust but you sail right along.
Yes, okay. But this time feels different. It feels like–
The end of things.
Look here, you let me get this old. Now you got to show me it was worth it, all this long time, all these words. More than a million words. You got to pull it all together now, I been waiting long enough.
So you’ll finally tell all those secrets you’ve been keeping?
If you writing, I’m telling. Now or never.