Thursday, August 23, 2012
Beauty and the Beast
It's been a busy year, but new work is on the horizon and I'm excited about the prospect of it being read. I have new fiction scheduled to appear in the upcoming issue of Taddle Creek, a short piece of fiction, my most desirable medium, and a new book, my longest story to date, a novel, that is close to the end of the final draft. What I've learned from writing this new book is simple - novels are beasts. I truly don't know why anyone writes them. But the story and the characters I am very fond of and the details. Details I discovered are integral to the beast. Beauty is also integral to the beast. If one can get past the glowering enormity of the form and concentrate on the beauty of the world being created and existing within the form, it becomes less of a laborious task and more of a frightening journey. I am not adverse to frightening journeys - after all what is life? The short story form is my friend. The novel is my obsession, like a lover. I didn't seek it out. I didn't premeditate its existence. I was happy with my friends. It seduced me one day in my car while waiting for a light to change. Wandered into my psyche, latched on and I was stuck. Like a lover I've had to learn what its trying to tell me, what it wants from me, what its all about. Like a lover, I hate it, I love it, I cry over it, I tell it I never want to see it again, then pull it to my chest and embrace it. I dream of it. It keeps me awake. I don't talk to it for days, then we don't stop talking for hours. It makes me smile, cry, manic, hungry, starving, drink, smoke, laugh, reflect and ultimately, I hope, in the end, I will have become a better person from surviving the experience, the relationship we've survived. I hope in the end, at least, I will come out of this a better writer and storyteller. I hope in the end, like all lovers, the next one will be different!