Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Real World

No matter what your method of escape, there is always the factor of the real world. The real world can really muck things up. The real world is made up of all the people you have to please. Some of them are people you love, like family and friends. Some you don’t know, like bill collectors or the government. You live your life the way society dictates, and if you’re lucky, you may have a little time left over to escape. Henry David Thoreau left society to be his own man. He wanted to write, and he wanted to do it on his own terms, with nothing but the heart of nature to keep him company. It didn’t really work for him. Society followed him into the woods. He would go off for a walk and come back and find broken twigs, cigar stubs, and pieces of trash in his cabin—signs of visitors. These people would come to check on him, not understanding—or maybe not wanting to believe— that a man can enjoy the company of his own skin. Surely he must be lonely. Certainly, he’ll need help and guidance. Once, Thoreau actually ventured out into society, mostly to pick up basic necessities that the woods could not provide. At that time, he was arrested, merely because he was not playing society’s game (didn’t pay taxes). His was a great lesson for all of us that there is no true escape, not in the real world.

Anyway, that’s my longwinded way of saying that I haven’t been writing as much as I would have liked. My next book is with an editor and will hopefully be out on the market in the next couple of months. The real world for me has been pretty hectic and is slowing down my progress. I will try to pick up the pace. My head is about to explode with imagination.

Friday, February 4, 2011

That Last Bit

I finished writing my second book. Or rather, I finished writing the book except for that last bit. It’s always hard to end a story, to finally cut the cord and prepare the baby for the world. I danced around that last bit for months, knowing the end was near but always having an excuse to avoid it. The book was easy to write since it’s full of sarcasm, a language I speak fluently. As I neared the conclusion, however, that old familiar chanting began in my head: Perfect ending, perfect ending, perfect ending.
An impossible task, said an almost inaudible voice. I pretended to ignore that voice, promising myself I would end the book with a bang. It’ll be the greatest ending in the world. My readers will cry, cheer, yearn for more. I’ll work on it tomorrow. No, tomorrow’s no good. Maybe next week. Next week turns out to be a busy week. Then there are holidays and birthdays and…..well, a little video gaming (hides face in shame)….and books to be read, and thoughts to be thunk. It all just adds up.
I have a manuscript graveyard, a garden of nearly complete stories, each having met its fate through umbilical rot. Each story had dozens of lives inside, characters with feelings and histories who depended on me for closure. I failed them. Decades have gone by. I still promise myself that I will bring them all back to life and finally set them free. Perhaps I will.
I already made a commitment to move each new child through swiftly, from beginning to end, and send them on their way. To honor that commitment, I first have to admit to myself that there may not be a bang. The ending, I have to accept, may be completely anticlimactic. As Nike says, “Just do it.”
To my readers (if my readers ever read my blog), I apologize in advance. I can’t promise a fireworks show at the end of every book. I will do my best, but I need to keep the line moving. That means everyone out of the pool as quickly as possible. No loitering.