The novel has only one more scene to be edited, and another to be written new. It’s been almost entirely written on coffee while listening to Tom Waits, The White Buffalo, Florence + the Machine and pirate shanties, I shit you not, fucking pirate shanties.
It does not escape me that I cannot seem to refer to this project as “my novel,” only “the novel.” It’s as if it’s still separate from me, like I’m afraid to take ownership of it. The words “my novel” seem too precious for me to stomach. This town has as many writers as pigeons, though I think we both serve similar purposes, the pigeons are perhaps more honest about their business.
Every time I sit down to write a personal update like this, I struggle. Putting myself on this blog was never my intention and it still seems like blasphemy every time I do. This is a place for my stories, hopefully for others to enjoy. My view of myself as a writer has always been with an audience in mind. Over the years that audience has changed, from my beginning with hardboiled crime fiction to whatever it is that I do now.
Writing began for me as a lifeline to cling to. At that time in my life I desperately needed to be something, anything at all. This search has caused me no end of trouble, but it is trouble that I’d trade for nothing. My identity had often seemed to be nothing more than a collection of ill-fitting, external pieces. Over the years I’ve made this work, each step I take away from the road behind me the pieces seemed to fit a little better.
One should never confuse epiphany for simply growing up.
My physical therapist has cleared me for the gym. Yesterday I was allowed to do push-ups, and I can’t describe the way they felt. Before February is over the novel will be on its way to a potential agent, and I will be back in the gym getting strong.
In terms of writing, my next project will be collecting a series of short stories that have been previously published but are no longer available for various reasons, along with a good number of pieces that have appeared on this tumblr. I will put this collection out myself, probably on Amazon in both digital and print editions.
It’s experiment. Let’s see how it all shakes out.
Thank you for reading, all of you.