Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hot on the heels of the "moving on" post I thought I'd offer an update on my Works in Progress. While I haven't been as diligent in my writing as I would like, I have been working on multiple projects.

Is actually my 2nd novel (The Reclamation of Karel Benekov) which I've written about here before. I'm just over 67,000 words along with the last 1/4 of the book to go. I'm anticipating a final word count in the 90s. I have to admit that I'm not thrilled with the structure of the novel, too linear in progression, which slows down the pace dramatically, but this is still the first draft so there will not be any starting over until I have finished getting the "story" out at least. I'm hoping I can get the structure right more quickly than I did with the 1st novel, which took upwards of 6 or 7 completely different attempts before finding the one that truly told the story properly. I feel that I have a better handle on this book (experience does help) and a better understanding of the main character, so I should be able to hit it right sooner rather than later.

3rd novel (The Last Messiah). This is another book I'm working on, though not as diligently as the other one. The story actually came from my partner, Carlos. He wasn't too interested in my 1st book. Literary Fiction bores him, which is fine. I know it's not for everyone. He's very much into the paranormal writing genre as is the rest of the world, it seems. One night in bed he inform me that in order for me to actually sell books I need to write something more interesting and, yes, trendy. He proceeded to tell me his idea of the coming of the "Last Messiah." While paranormal writing isn't quite the type of book I like the story intrigued me enough for me to start tinkering with it. I have a "thing" about religion, a fascination that borders on obsession and I thought: "what the hell, give it a shot." I'm only about 11,000 words into (it requires quite a bit of research into religion and how to write police procedurals (oh, it starts out as your run of the mill police procedural and then turns paranormal)) but I actually like it very much and it's a nice change of pace from when I get bored with writing the other book.

Stage Play (Pinched). Quite a few years ago, I read a non-fiction book entitled Sex-Crime Panic: A Journey to the Paranoid Heart of the 1950s by Neil Miller, which told of a post-child murder panic that took hold of parts of Iowa back in the 1950s. As the police couldn't find the actual murderer, or murderers, of two children, they sought to appease public fears by rounding up "sexual deviates", which mainly consisted of homosexuals. A group of these men were committed to the mental hospital for an indefinite period of time in hopes that the state could cure them.

I've always thought this would make an interesting (and still timely) stage play, so I'm working on an adaptation.

Screenplay (Immortality, Inc.). Okay, I've had this in the works for years (at least 10) and think I should just freaking write the damned thing! Again, this is for Carlos as it deals with vampires. At first I thought it would be a book but it's just so terribly visual that I decided to switch it to a movie instead. I've actually got most, if not all, of the research done on this, complete with character bios (full histories! I started this back when I still did such things) and a point-by-point plot outline so now it's just a matter of writing it. I just started revisiting this project in the past couple of days so I'm going to try to stoke the embers here and see what happens.

And that's it. That's what I'm working on, here and there, keeping myself entrenched in the world of words and continuing to move forward. I think I'm like a lot of writers who keep a few projects going at the same time in order to keep the mind active and the writing interesting. Often, if I only concentrate on one piece of writing, it starts to bore me and then the writing becomes stale. If I switch back and forth, especially if the projects vary widely in genre and style, the writing stays fresh and lively.

I'll try to get some more in depth posts regarding each project here in the near future.

To Let Go Is to Move On

It appears that there comes a point in this publishing process when one has to turn to that old Alcoholics Anonymous catch-phrase "Let Go and Let God" in order to move forward. I am at that point.

We are fast approaching the 1 year mark of my manuscript being "out there" in search of a home. My agent, Jennifer DeChiara, began sending it out in January of this year. As reported, we came close with one publisher but the book was deemed to adult for the Young Adult market. Since then: nothing. Not a freaking nibble. Oh, they're still tossing around the niceties: "good writer"; "interesting story"; "good character development"; and the like but ultimately they all have passed. I'm not even sure how many rejections I've had now as Jennifer has decided to shield me from them, for which I am thankful as there are just so many knocks my fragile writer's ego can take.

Each month, like broken clock work (I can never hold out a full month), I email Jennifer asking for updates. Each month the same report: "nothing yet, but I'm still trying." God love her tenacity!

And each month another dagger in the ole heart area.

Well, I think it's time to "Let Go and Let God." It's time to leave it in the hands of fate, put my head down and keep working on new projects. No more monthly updates, just let it lie and if by chance someone finally picks it up for publication and I get that call from Jennifer, well great. But if it doesn't happen then it doesn't matter because I've moved on. I've realized that I, and my writing, are entierly too tethered to the outcome of this novel. I have tied my self-worth to its publication and that's not good. I have to realize that even if the book doesn't get published that doesn't mean I'm not a good, or even great, writer. Just means that I have to continue getting my work out there so that someone will realize it. It's like casting a net instead of just one fishing line.

These are the lessons each writer must learn, I suppose.

So it's settled. One last update (what? you thought I would be able to quit cold turkey?) and then it's on its own. Time to move on fully and happily and whole-heartily, with confidence that my writing will be heard one day.