Works in progress

Yes works in progress. That’s plural. Which is perhaps more a reflection of a scattered mind than an organized one, but there you have it.

I sent Caliban to a colleague for editing. She came back with a ream of suggestions. So I am now in the process of yet another revision, with better focus on the problems in the novel and how to address those. Part of that process is letting go, of opening another door so a new perspective can be obtained. For the first time since I wrote the original draft, back some 30-odd years ago, I know exactly where this novel needs to go, and that’s definitely not in the bottom drawer.

So it is with some semblance of confidence I feel I can have this revision complete this year, final developmental edit and then copy-edited. Then the decision is whether to shop Caliban to an agent or publisher, or whether to publish it through Five Rivers as I have done with all my work. Likely I’ll opt for the latter, because I am so weary of that entire complicated choreography of submission, rejection and attempting to shove this peg into that preconceived hole.

The irony of that statement is not lost on me.

What happened to The Rose Guardian, you ask? It’s still there, still haunting me, driving me insane. I am so close to having the first draft finished. But alas the ability to actually do that eludes me. I suspect I know why. Sometimes art really does reflect life, often unconsciously until finally the subconscious bubbles up to the conscious. Will I have the first draft finished this year, when I have previously said with such confidence I will have it done by this date, and then this date, and then…. Indeed. No guarantees. I will try to have this first draft finished this year. I will try. (I can hear Yoda now: there is no try, there is only do.) But for this padawan, the mantra is try. I will try to have The Rose Guardian finished this year.

There has been, however, an interesting development in my creative process. My dear son and daughter-in-law gave me a beautiful leather bound journal (I’ve never kept a journal), and a cartridge pen for Christmas. Such an act of support and faith. And so I have been writing in the journal. There is something very essential about putting the nib to paper, having to slow down so you don’t smudge the ink, so you form letters clearly enough you can later understand what you’ve written, about not pausing to correct grammar or spelling. You just keep writing. The mind unclenches. The words flow with the ink. It’s quite extraordinary, given I turned to a computer with glee because I would never again have to face a blank page, and here I am decades later returning to that most essential of writing mediums.

As a result, in between personal entries, I started yet another novel, one I researched some time ago. No, you’re not going to get a hint about subject, or characters, or anything like that, because the novel is very much in utero, and to reveal much about it at this point might be to destroy it. Let me say, however, I am pleased.

And that, my dear readers, is where I’m at at the beginning of another year.

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