Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The book that never was

I really have no idea what precipitated my sudden inspiration to jump into a writing project that took me back to London in 1892, but there it was. Or is, rather. It’s what occupies my days now.

“You’re rebounding,” said some of my friends when they heard about the book I am working on. It just seemed so weird and out of character. (more about that later)


 “You know,” they said, “you fall in love, invest years of your precious time in a relationship, and then BOOM, it’s over. You took the easy way out. Instead of sitting with the suffering and reflecting on what went wrong, you leapt into a new relationship.”

See, I wrote a book last year. A long one, one that involved reading eighty or more books and hundreds of hours of internet time, looking at images, old newspaper articles. My book had over 100,000 words, and was growing. It had about sixteen characters, all of them fascinating. To me, at least. It was a magical-realist adventure dystopian comedy. Of sorts.

It was about subjects I felt very deeply about, the genocide of American Indians, nuclear testing, the Vietnam War. You know, cheerful subjects. There were times when I considered calling the suicide hotline, just to talk.

Long story short, I put the book aside, and not just because it had no plot and all those interesting characters running around, either. It just wasn’t going to work. I didn’t see it at first. Finally, a brutally honest friend put me and my book out of misery.

“Shoot it,” he said, “and move on.”

So I did.

I hear it happens to every writer, sooner or later. 

The good news was this:  The book that never was, was behind me now.

I’m almost positive.

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