I spent most of June locked in my basement sitting in front of my laptop and missing summer. I got an amusement park pass for Christmas that I haven’t activated. I haven’t taken a walk through the park yet just to appreciate moving and fresh air. I’ve been to the community pool two houses down from mine exactly once. Other than time spent mowing the lawn, I’ve missed the sun and warm days completely. I was, and still am, in writing lock down.
The new novel is almost finished, maybe a week away or less, and until it is I’ll stay in my basement room grinding out the words. I’m aware there’s a world outside my windowless underground office, but I can’t think about it until this book is done. My writing life is monastic in that I spend a lot of time alone, in silence, questioning my decisions in life. If the book finds a home, if it’s read, then all the time I served will be worth it.
Last month I received word that I’d been chosen to be a featured author at Cincinnati’s Books by the Banks Festival which will take place this October. I’m honored to be included, and look forward to meeting readers and signing copies of my novella Roller Girls Love Bobby Knight.
I was also happy to be featured in my hometown newspaper The Manchester Enterprise which was kind enough to give myself and my work a full page spread. It felt good to be the subject of a “local boys does good” piece, and I hope to be able to go back home again soon. I’d love the chance to speak with the high school students there about writing and publishing since it would’ve meant the world to me to have an author visit our mountain school and share what he or she could with us.
Everything is in the future for now though. 65,924 words done, and at least 10,000 more to go. I hope to have the 9th draft of the new novel done by this weekend. After that I’ll get down to editing each line, scene, and chapter, make sure all the pages of notes I’ve written are included, and then line edit the eleventh draft before I’m free. The end is always close. The end is always impossibly far off in the distance. But I’m putting in my time (9 full drafts, three outlines with another to come, and two calendars so far), and hope to get paroled before the leafs start to turn. Hopefully by next month I’ll be tan, eating clean, exercising, and reading two books a day. I like to dream about times like that at night. Everyone on the inside needs some promise, or else there’s no reason to get up and try again.