How it started
(a.k.a. The Story of the flying ninja)
I write and edit books for a living. Sometimes they’re my books, and sometimes they are other people’s. I’ve spent the past year and a half or so working on one of the best, most fulfilling, synchronistic projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of.
It was kismet from the beginning, really. In summer of 2016, as I was wasting time on Instagram, I ran across Fiona's account. It sucked me in and I found myself falling down an Internet Black Hole, going from her Insta to her website to articles she’d written. I wrote down a note to contact my agent and draw her attention to Fiona, just in case she wanted to write a book. As with most of my notes, though, I never got around to following through.
A couple of weeks later, said agent called to talk about a potential new client—you guessed it: Fiona.
When we started the project, Fiona was single and I was newly married with no intention of ever having kids. Flash forward to the end of the project, less than eighteen months later, and I am the single mother to a 5-month old baby girl; Fiona, also a single-mom-to-be, will be welcoming her baby boy in the next couple of months. Suffice to say, a lot happened in both of our lives over the course of that year in a half—and, not only that, but it seemed that a lot of similar things were happening in our lives.
One day, while I was relaying a particularly frustrating story to Fiona, she replied by saying in jest, “If you ever need me to kick some ass, just let me know. They won't even realize until it’s too late that the Flying Ninja is coming at them.”
I laughed at the time, but the phrase and image burned themselves into my head. And then I did a little research: Appropriately, the Japanese character for nin, from which “ninja” was derived, originally meant “persevere.” Ja means “person.” So, black clothing and covert ops aside, at the heart of it, a ninja is basically a person who perseveres. In other words, it’s exactly who I want to be. Who I need to be. A ninja.
So, to Fiona the Flying Ninja, thank you for the inspiration. I may not be able to fly, but I'm pretty sure I can balance.