In Between Days

I have started writing my next novel. I’m not making an announcement, just saying it, in a non grand way (well, why say it at all? you may ask and you would be right to ask it). But after a good six months – it’s more than that, but I’ve been rather single minded the last six months – of thinking and note taking and more thinking and tinkering, and odd moments of discovery (one of the big breakthroughs came while I was dismantling a chicken) I think I have something and have started the actual writing. Not that the last novel is done. It won’t be until it’s published (and that’s more than a year away) and then it still won’t be done; it will need marketing and talking about and selling. My editor will get the manuscript back to me in about a month (she claims) and then I’ll need to work on it some more. But in the meantime, I have a book, it is mapped out, though I’ve already thrown a wrench in the map – mixed metaphor alert! – and that’s a good thing, writing a novel is a process of discovery and I’m still discovering this story, the voice(s), the ticks that drive the characters. I may become a bit more silent on the social networks here on in, at least for now, as I work on this book, and hope that it doesn’t take as long to complete as my last one. I already have some drama: my agent is retiring (and, as I told him, retiring on your own terms is the result of a life well lived), meaning at some point, I have the agent thing to do all over again (here is the story of my last novel and agent search) and this time, I suppose I’ll need an agent who isn’t near retirement age… (cue the accusations of ageism!)

Writing is exquisite torture. It really is. It is not something that a sane person ever chooses. Rather, it chooses you. Like a pet. Your choice is to ignore your chosen art or not. That’s it. You either decide to do this thing or to put up with the incessant clamor of its overwhelming need. Frankly, it’s a hard fucker to ignore.

Post script: After writing this, I got to work. I really did. This was the result:

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