Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Magic words. It's supposed to feel good writing them on your novel. I was anticipating the end of my novel Alma so much that I even wrote THE END on a post-it and tacked it up over my desk, to remind me of my goal. Just make it to the end, that's all. It doesn't have to be good, you just have to make it to the end. This has been my mantra. Just finish already. I'm even visualizing it, like those dang The Secret people suggest.

So then I got to the end of the novel over the weekend, and I couldn't bring myself to write the words. It didn't feel like my silly visualization. I had been seeing myself as Jane Fonda playing Lillian Hellman in that movie Julia. Did you ever see that? She gets to the end of her play and types THE END THE END THE END THE END and smiles and leans back in her chair.

I should have felt elated, but instead I'm left with melancholy. Maybe because that's the tone this novel ends on, melancholy. The characters don't fix all their problems. They even get new ones. It's a sad feeling. Maybe the right one.

Not sure.

Time to read and reread now. But I might stick it in the drawer for awhile first.

Please let me know if you're interested in reading a draft. Last time I printed and bound a bunch of copies and passed them out. The feedback I got was invaluable (thanks guys!). I'm particularly interested in your reaction if you have intimate knowledge of any of the following subcultures:

1. actors and urban acting studios
2. 12-step programs
3. clergy families
4. people adopted in the 1960's
5. interracial families, particularly children of color with white parents
6. public hospitals and emergency medicine
7. NYC stagehands and dressers for professional stage
8. the oevre of Tennessee Williams

No pressure. And one need not know any of this crap. To me, the most helpful feedback is, "during this part of the book, I was feeling _____." Seriously.

OK, back to work now.


Anonymous said...

You of course know I would love to read the draft.

h said...

yeah, man. ME Also!


Anne said...

yay Gee, you kick-ass whitewater swimmer! I love your insights. I will totally send you a copy. I'll email you when I have some in hand.

And Hugh, I was hoping H was you!! Great to hear from you. Drop me a line (no rush) at bigfatpress at yahoo dot com and we can coordinate getting you a copy.

I want to clean up a few continuity problems and cut the prose down a bit, then I'll look into a small print run on Lulu I think. So I'm keeping a running tally.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I look forward to my copy (though the way things are going if you are cutting down prose I may be east when you send it) bwa hunh? yeah I am considering a summer in RI.

Todd Colby said...

I'd like to read a draft too!