Last time I posted here, there were leaves on the trees, the world was kind of Halloween-y, and I was considering a dive into NaNoWriMo. And so I dove. Glad I did. I managed just over 50 thousand words, and I now have something in the shape of a novel that will be the sequel to Time Runs Away With Her. It's a much darker book, with a lot of the time travel set in the 18th century--and there's lots more from Bean and Zak--and Samantha, who figures heavily in this book. Juuulia, too. And Father Tollman, the radical priest (who gets a girlfriend). There's also a 1970's rock and roll radio station, and a DJ who may not be what he seems to be. And a really ambivalent bad guy. I'm not looking at the draft until after Christmas, when I will revise the heck out of the thing and figure out what comes next in terms of unleashing it upon an unsuspecting cosmos.
So yeah, I did it. I wrote a follow-up novel in a month. I'm proud of myself, but I'm also still kind of dazed. I finished the book last Saturday, in an epic, ass-numbing feat of just plunging ahead. Which is what you do when you write a novel in a month. You plunge. It's cold-swimming-pool-time--not so bad once you get in, but terrifying if you think about it too much. You dream the book when you're writing that fast--seriously. I'd wake up in the morning thinking I was writing, thinking I was Bean, thinking the book's bad guy was after me, too!
Writing fiction still feels like speaking another language (to get into another metaphor). Sometimes I think I've gotten pretty fluent in it--for a native speaker of Poetry. And sometimes the whole thing just jumps the tracks (metaphor number three!) and I feel like a newbie all over again. I've noticed that I have certain things I do maybe too much, like starting a chapter in the middle of the action and then having to write lots of awkward sentences in past perfect tense. But that's what revision is for, I guess. Heck, I KNOW that's what revision is for. Nobody ever taught me to write fiction; all my creative writing study was poetry and poetics. I learned fiction-writing by being the compulsive reader that I am. Like my main character, Bean Donohue, I play guitar by ear. Can you write by ear? Guess so.
The first book is selling well enough that I got my first non-stellar review today. I was actually kind of relieved. And the gal who wrote the review didn't hate Time Runs Away With Her, she just didn't know what genre it was right away, and that bothered her a bit. But she really liked Bean and wanted a sequel, so that's good. Actually, that's very good, so what am I whining about? Talk to me after I get my first one star, old-man-in-the-balcony "hated it"!
My husband's outside, hanging Christmas lights on the porch. We're two weeks away from setting up the tree. I actually had time to shop a bit over the weekend. The inside of my fridge still looks like a frat house, but I have hope I'll get to that tomorrow. Deep, deep breath.
By the way, could I help you with your Christmas shopping? Amazon's got Time Runs Away With Her, too--in Kindle and paper--and this website will hook you up with both of my poetry books, Zero Degrees at First Light, and Sheltering in Place. The po-books I can ship right to you, autographed. Just click on "Store" at the top of this page. Be glad to be of service!! I keep my friends' poetry books in my bathroom. Go ahead and laugh, but my guests who don't read poetry read them there! And sometimes go out to buy more poems.
So. From Bean, Zak, Samantha, Suzanne, and all my flesh-and-blood human and feline pals here on the creek, Happy Festival of Lights, whichever one you celebrate! Cueing Merry in...3, 2, 1!