Several years ago I’d started work on a brand-new novel and shelved it to work Do The Dead Dream? I’ve since picked it up and begun re/working it. I won’t give its title…I always keep that secret until just before releasing it. But I’d been struggling with it, much like I had with Psychic. Though I have about 30K words, some of those will be outright removed, and a lot is being changed. But I am working on it daily.
A few years ago (2015), on a solo trip to my dad and stepmom in upstate New York, I’d reread Slaughterhouse Five. I’d done so in preparation for the novel I’m working on now (let’s just call it the “Work In Progress,” or “WIP”). I wanted to see if I could try some different methods for what I usually do in my work…and I’d rediscovered the coolness of Vonnegut’s work. As it turns out, I’m rereading it again, since it took me longer than planned! Since December I’d been trying to find that damned book and it wasn’t until yesterday (Saturday) that I’d found it. I’d looked everywhere. I think the Tralfamadorians had been messing with me, because I looked everywhere I’d already looked. It had to be there, I constantly told myself, had to. And, well, it—finally—was.
I loved the author intrusion into the novel, among other things. So as I began rereading, I’d finally had my epiphany about how to structure my new novel—and once that hit me, the writing (at least as of yesterday…) began to flow like crazy. I’m a little apprehensive of starting again, because I again hit a knot-of-a-spot and wonder if I again sit down to write if the words will again flow-like-crazy. But it’ll all work out. It always does. Many writers—even seasoned writers—feel the same way…or worse. I confess that over the past few years, after writing (not publishing) my last novel, which was Psychic, I have questioned myself. And as the intervening years increased, I’ve questioned myself even more. I mean, the past thirteen years I’ve only been dealing with rewriting. Re-releasing. No new novel work, though I’d created a few short pieces. And now I’m intruding upon novel-writing time with this post.
Yeah. I’m not scared.
But I’m also trying to figure out how I want to proceed forward with promoting my work. I like not being on Facebook anymore. It was such a Time Suck (again, I’m sure the Tralfamadorians are involved…). Sure there were collateral advantages to it, but I got into it purely for promoting my books, and only a handful bought my work from my time on Facebook, so the P&L for staying on Facebook was not in my favor. I do, however, enjoy what I’m currently on: my WordPress blogs, Twitter, and Instagram. Pinterest is also a bit of a waste, but I’m keeping it for no-action discovery purposes. That’s what I’ve learned it’s only real purpose is for someone like me, though I have yet to discover any benefits from it. I do note, however, that a TON of hair stylists love to pin one particular image I have over every other image in my Voice board. I can’t figure it out now, but at one point I’d found out how many times this one image has been grabbed, and it an incredible amount of times MORE than any other image.
Yet, still, no sales spikes from Pinterest. But…I leave it. I’d deactivated it once, but thought, eh, it’s not hurtin’ anybody, I’ll just reactivate it. I’d had some fun with it in the past with a virtual friend, but I think I scared her off! She no longer sends cool Hallowe’enie pins to me anymore, I’m sure, because she feels I might kill Pinterest again (yeah, you know who you are, my friend! ;-] )!
And so it goes.
To get back to this new work of mine, after finding my paperback of Slaughterhouse Five, I’d found my structure, and I love it! It is quite experimental, and not unlike Vonnegut’s author intrusion, but I’ve added my own spin to it, and think it’s pretty cool what I’m trying to do. I hope the rest of the reading public does, too, but it will be at least a year or three before it is done. That is my average on writing books: two – three years. I hope to create a few more short stories in the interim, but a new book is at least that far away. Unless my writing has really improved and I get far more done than I expect to. I’ve been doing a combination of outlining and actual writing to see if that helps at all. So far, I think it’s just stalling the inevitable organic writing I do…but it’s all heading in the same direction: forward.
So, I hope you’ll all continue to follow me as I create this book, deal with my writing angst (which I’d never had before in all my years of writing, which amounts to some 51 years worth), and occasionally post about it. It’s an exciting project about someone who helps people transition when they die. And it severely breaks traditional story structure and POVs and all that. Will continue to mess with Time and your head. And I do hope that the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. will help me out in writing it. I’d be so damned honored. I already have another “ethereal” seeming to help me out…and that character is in the book itself. A little teaser:
Know this: “In the end there is only the beginning.”