Sunday, January 4, 2015

it's done; or, the night brings wisdom


It's done. (caveats, asterisks, daggers, etc. way down below.)

Not to make a big deal about it, except...well, come on. Seven years. That deserves at least a double Jamesons, right? (Except that I'm in the midst of a 30-day booze purge, so I'll raise a glass of tap water, I guess, and hit the Jamesons on Feb 1.)

No, it's not hardly all I've been doing for seven years. In fact, for several of those years I wasn't working on it at all. What was I doing? Oh, you know. Making a living, mostly. What else? Trying to write a screenplay with Matt Walker. Writing an entirely different novel that I ended up shelving. Writing this and that.

But whatever. Seven years ago to the very week I sat down to write some notes on an idea I had, and when I stood up I had 30 pages. That's how it started. I was pretty sure it was a ridiculous idea...but I was also sure I had never been so excited about anything I had written. Ever, really. So...it lived. Barely, for a long time. And now, seven years later, 30 pages has grown to 540.

Context on seven years, since I'm waxing novel-nostalgic tonight: Seven years ago my 26 year-old and 15 year-old daughters were 19 and 8, respectively. I was 37. Last decade, in the course of only six years I published three novels, and now it's been six years since In Hoboken's release. Seven years is just a year shy of what you'd spend in high school and college combined (which is why I didn't go to college, probably; that's just too damn long to sit in one place). Seven years is almost twice as long as I was in the army, but only half as long as we've been in this current state of war.

Anyway, I'm over myself now. But boy did it feel good to print that manuscript out today for the first time. Can't wait for y'all to read it.

Here are those caveats: Done as defined by first draft coherent enough to print out. I've got work ahead of me, no doubt. But (to me, anyway) this is the fun work, and is usually pretty speedy. I love the editing and rewriting.