October 28th has come and gone. I blew it. I missed my deadline. I don’t recall ever missing a deadline. Well, like a lot of things in my life, those days are over. Woe is me.
October 28th was my self-imposed deadline for publishing my third adult novel, Anchor. It was an arbitrary deadline, but I am a compulsive individual and I like to have things organized and proceeding according to plan…typical Taurus personality trait. But I should have known I wasn’t going to make my deadline, not with this book. This book as been…let me see, how can I accurately describe what writing this book has been like…ah, yes, let’s just say it was a puzzlement. That is what the king in The King and I called things he did not understand.
Anchor was originally conceived as a story about a young priest who wandered a bit too far from the altar and wound up doing things unpriestly. As it turned out, I trashed that idea (too Thorn Birdie) and I changed the priest into a Catholic radio news anchor. That was a logical transition, I told myself. Actually, this immediate change in characters should have been a warning sign that writing this book was going to be volatile. I suspect now I should have bypassed writing anything religious since I am not and it would be God’s way of punishing me.
Well, to cut to the chase, we are just about halfway through November and I still haven’t finished Anchor. I though I did, but then my son started reading the manuscript and declared it a disaster, at least as I defined his criticism. I talked about this unnerving moment in an earlier posting.
I started reviewing the book myself and, like never before, discovered all kinds of things that I wanted to change. The problem—or part of the puzzlement—is that once one thing is changed, it winds up having a cascading effect throughout the entire book, causing even more changes. Remember, as also previously discussed in a posting a long way back, this book was put together a little differently too. I had a beginning and end, but no middle. So I wrote the two sections—front and back—before I ever knew what was going to happen in the middle. Surprisingly, this did not seem to pose a problem…I think. Or maybe that’s why this minorpiece (vs. masterpiece) has become such a puzzlement. Then too, the entire ending has changed from the original one I had in mind. When it did, I didn’t know how the story was really going to finish up until I wrote the last chapter…and then all kinds of things began busting out. This entire book has simply been out of control with a life of its own.
So that’s what I’ve been doing…writing a book and then writing it over again. Sometimes I imagine myself a great creative type, famous but temperamental as hell and never satisfied with his work. Then reality hits and I realize I should maybe “get real” and take up patchwork quilting as a new activity and dump this writing gig.
Well, if you are among my terribly small but cherished group of loyalist who have implied you are actually waiting with open arms to grab a copy of Anchor, I will tell you this: I am not sure what to tell you. I think I may finish the rewrite this week and then I may be crazy enough to publish it. But if you are asking me if it’s any good, I can’t say. I have no idea. It could be my tipping point to success…or total pee-yew! Like I said…it’s a puzzlement.
No puzzlement here…these are some of the fine folk who stopped by marc’s blog lately. I need to catch up on my list and thank them! Here they are: Chris Nicholas, Rita Petrushansky-Mastroni, Stumbleton, Writingfest, Mike Fuller, Ron Carmean, Jacke Wilson, Margie, Mae McDonnell, Writeformasses, Almost Iowa, Classy Canuck, Chitkala, unbolt and Robert Okaji. Hope I didn’t miss anyone…if I did, I apologize!