What Happens Next?
FLOATING IN A CLOUD are two partially written novels. Two novels that I have started and then electronically put on the shelf. They are nagging me, pleading with me to complete them. I hate when that happens.
One of them is a sequel to my novel, “And Pull The Hole In After You.” The other one is a work that I started about 15 years ago that carries the working title of, “Haight Street.”
Ever since “…Pull the Hole…” was finished I have had people asking me, “What happens next?” and “You are doing a sequel, right?”
How in the heck am I supposed to know what happens next?
Oh, yeah. It’s my job to make up that part.
I started working on a sequel about six months after the first book saw the light of electronic day. I wrote about 30 thousand words, a fair amount, before I realized that I didn’t like it. It didn’t work. I had painted my characters into a literary corner. Not good.
So, now what?
It was at that point that I closed the file and moved on. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the pile of words that I had amassed. I reread the manuscript and did find parts that I thought were pretty good, while other parts stunk to high heaven. I shuddered at the thought of trying to save it, to make it get back on course and make sense.
Not writing is so much easier than writing, but it’s just not as much fun.
I knew that I needed to write. It is what I do. So, I started this blog. I did it as a way to keep my chops. It served as a discipline, to keep me writing every day, and it killed time until I made up my mind about that prenatal sequel. It allowed me to vamp until I got up the nerve to try again. Now, after about 220 blog entries, I think I am willing to climb back in the saddle and see if I can make the sequel worthwhile.
I plan to continue the blog. It is too much fun to let it go. It allows me to let my goofy side out to run around the yard every day. The novel, while I do manage to slip in a joke or two under the literary guise of “comic relief,” is in a more serious mood. It is hard to come up with gags about combat shotguns and ice picks in someone’s eyeball. I’ve tried, but nobody laughed when I tested them in front of a live audience.
So, starting tomorrow I will be spending part of my writing day working on that sequel. As for the other half-written novel, “Haight Street,” it will just have to wait. That text is in pretty good shape – it just needs my attention. It will stay afloat in that cloud for the foreseeable future. Nobody is clamoring for it, except the characters who are stuck in limbo. They are not happy about it – at all.
Of course, in the middle of all of this reassignment of my waking hours, we are taking a few days to go to St. Louis to see the San Francisco Giants play some excellent baseball at Busch Stadium. That will show up in the blog I’m sure, augmented by a few photos taken during the games. That is important stuff! Perfect blog fodder.
As a sage person once said, “Baseball is Life. The rest is details.”
I am also sure that I will be dropping scenes from the sequel into the blog on the occasional Saturdays. I could use some feedback from you. I also belong to a Writer’s Group here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Your punctuation is atrocious.”) and I will be offering up sections of the novel for criticism there. I’ve developed a thick skin over the years while learning how to take and accept criticism. It is vital to the process.
So now it begins – again.