Saturday, January 23, 2010
Finishing a Novel
Hi everyone! Sorry I've been a bit absent this past week, it's been a big one! I flew down to Melbourne to appear at their GLBT Festival "Midsumma" and do a reading for their lit event Novel Conversations at my favourite gay bookshop Hares & Hyenas; I also received word from editor Richard LaBonte that he'd like to include a short story on mine in his steamy new erotic anthology MUSCLE MEN, coming soon from Cleis Press; and to top it all off I finished putting the final touches on the brand new Fathom's Five novel, THE CURSE OF THE DRAGON!
I'm sure all writers are different, but when I finally finish a novel, my brain kind of melts down for a day or two. I walk around like a zombie and my conversations become painfully dull and dim-witted. I vow to take time off writing and do normal things like pay my bills and clean my bathroom and fold the clothes that keep getting dumped in a pile on a chair in my bedroom. But then I turn on my computer and desperately start plotting something altogether new (despite to dozens of projects I've already planned to write). It's a sick and twisted cycle, an addiction, an all-consuming obsession. I think that's when you know you're a writer. It's not about publishing contracts or books on shelves or chunky word docs sitting in various folders on your computer entitled "Ideas" or "To be completed" or "Untitled"... no, it's about the addiction. The inability to go a single day without thinking "that'd make a good story" or "how am I going to get them out of that fast-flooding room?" or "what are the legs on a helicopter called?" When you're sitting at a table in a restaurant with friends or at a church wedding or stuck in traffic on your way to work thinking about helicopters, that's when you know you're a real writer. That's when it's time to give into the curse and just...write! We're like werewolves, without the big teeth.
By the way, the legs on a helicopter are called landing skids. Not legs. Thankyou Google!