I'm having problems with my work-in-progress. We've stopped talking. But before I tell you about all the bad things in the relationship, let me tell you about the beginning. Back then, everything was good. We met in the most unexpected way. I was driving home from a weekend visit with my Mom and Dad when I hit traffic. Lots of traffic. There I was, sitting in the car, not moving at all, somewhere around exit 105 on the Garden State Parkway, when "blammo!" I heard a voice. I heard a first sentence. I saw a character. She told me her name. There was another character. He told me his. And a place! They showed me where they lived. It was somewhere I'd never been. Then more people came into the story. They talked and talked. Fortunately traffic was horrendous. The normal three hour drive took over eight hours so we had lots of time to get to know each other. By the time I got home, I was breathless. After saying a quick hello to my husband and the dog, I raced the to computer. Over the next few weeks, it was magic. My w.i.p. told me secrets. There were some turns and twists. There was an ending. It was exactly the type of ending that this story should have. And the beginning is really good. All I needed was the middle. A few days ago, I went to my computer expecting words to flow, but instead of talking, there was silence. Not a peep. At first I thought it was a blip. I was patient. But the next day, it happened again. And then again. "What did I do?" I asked. "Did I take you in the wrong direction? Do you want to go someplace else?" But there is no answer. I've tried nice music (We're working on a play list). And chocolate (many many kinds of chocolate). I've talked very sweetly to all the characters. No matter what I do, I get nothing. Our time together is stressful. The joy is gone. Another story whispers. It's just a chapter. But it wants me to write it. I feel like I'm cheating. Yet how long do you stay with your uncommunicative w.i.p.? How do you know when it's time to give up? For me it comes down to belief. I still have faith in this story. And I think there's something there that wants to be told. Now if only I can convince those characters . . .