3 The Broth Bubbles

As the likelihood increased that, for better or worse, I really was going to undertake this project, I began collecting as many photos as possible of anything I might need to draw in my book. On a Christmas trip to Alabama I strolled around old neighborhoods taking pictures of interesting houses that would have been around in Toland Polk's day. Pictures like these added a kind of background atmosphere that I would never have been able to create strictly from my imagination. Left to my own devices, any houses I draw will be about as architecturally interesting as those little pentagons with chimneys on top that we were taught how to draw in the first grade.
JOURNAL ENTRY (April 28, 1990)

I suddenly recognized the feelings I’ve been having the last day or so. They are a possible storyline emerging from my subconscious. They come with a rush of adrenaline that feels like the best kind of high, but they also come with a throbbing sense of dread.

"It’s like when you feel that you may be falling in love," I told Eddie this morning. "There’s tremendous exhilaration, but the implications are scary.

"I could end up committing myself to a long-term relationship here. But how do I know it’s really love? Maybe it’s infatuation. Next week it could abruptly cool off. (Or worse yet, what if I cool off a week after a contract is signed…?) There’s a point when you’re thinking about entering into a new relationship when you know you can turn back and not take the risk. Backing off may be the smartest thing you can do, since sometimes loving feelings are 100% illusion and wishful thinking.

"On the other hand, backing off can become a very bad habit. Sometimes it is love. Sometimes you have to trust your feelings and just jump off that cliff into the unknown."

That’s where my head is today. I’m scared at the way my impulse to create has shifted into overdrive. A few days ago I had a vague idea of the possible seeds of a story. Since then all sorts of intriguing characters, subplots, and dramatic moments have begun piling into my head.