Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On Finishing My Novel & Blurb Writing

I finished the first draft of my novel, and it kind of broke my heart a little to write those last few words. My hands froze over the keyboard, as if each final keystroke were a bullet hole through my loved one––because ultimately that final punctuation mark was the end of something very beautiful to me. The relationship between a writer and their work is more intimate than I realized before finishing this book––I almost wanted to keep on writing it for the rest of my life, I did not want to let go. This made me think of the quote by Truman Capote: "Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it." But there it was, that the desire to share this story with the world eventually overrode my desire to live all by myself in that world forever. So I sealed the fate of all my characters, and sang them through their plot lines with some sweet words. And since they were all born solely from my own mind's creation, and existed only in those pages, my completion of the first draft was in fact the death of them all.

When I was a little girl I used to sneak off into the forest to work on novels, but since my adolescence I have not really attempted any full-length work of fiction, so it is nice to be returning to it after all of these years. Now I must move on to the process of subsequent drafts––an arduous and overwhelming but completely necessary phase. Revision of course means to "see again", and I need just a little time to let go of my previous "visions" of what it should be, so that I can be free to see what it can be.

In other exciting news, my friend Eric has asked me to write a blurb for his forthcoming book of poetry. I've been waiting, hmm, around a DECADE for this book, and I'm overwhelmed that I get the honor of writing a blurb for the back cover. It is certain to be a book that will go down in history, and I am filled with a lot of pleasure that I get to be a part of that history. I'm sorry, but I seriously cannot believe I get that honor. I've really done some things right in life, that's all I'll say.

Well, in fact it is not really *me* that will be writing the blurb for his book, but rather one of the characters from my novel will be writing it, from within the coma world. But anyway, I can't wait for the world to read his book. When I finished reading it I felt unbearably anxious that I would not be able to do it justice. I've since finished the first draft of the blurb, but I only have a couple more days to get this done. Fingers crossed....

Love,
Jennifer