I'm confident enough with this first half of the book to send it to my friend in Australia for her comments; until now, I wasn't sure if other changes would be necessary. I know she won't care for this book. It's not her genre. But this doesn't matter, because she's a great reader, appreciates good writing, and will look at it as a lot of agents would - with the cold, hard eye of practicality. In other words, she will see (I hope) that it's good, regardless of her own personal preferences, and she'll undoubtedly pick up some absurdity that I missed. This is good. I am indebted to her, once again, for reading something she otherwise wouldn't consider.
Already I have another plot bouncing around in my head. I so wanted to attempt a humorous book next time, just for a change, but, sad to say, this new idea is steeped in mystery, shadows, and a fair chunk of the supernatural. Instead of falling asleep at night thinking about the book I'm working on, I've been running through this new one. Is this crazy? It's one thing to have more than one painting on the go, but fiction? But what do I know? Perhaps it's more common than I realize. It really makes sense, when the writing is going slowly on one, that you could switch to the other for a while. Have any of you done this? Anyway, I'm itching to get to it, after I've finished the current one, and, after that one, then I'll tackle the humor. That's a really tough genre, in case you didn't know, and a huge challenge. I think I can be funny, but can I write it?
I've had a number of doubts, fears, and questions about my current agented book, Hafan Deg. I blythely tell you guys about the patience needed in snaring an agent, and the excruciating time they can take in finding a publisher. But, naturally, I don't listen to myself. The truth is, I've been really frustrated because it's four months since I found my agent and nothing has happened yet. So I wrote to SarahBeth, who's been through all of this more than once, and with British agents. She set me straight with a wealth of information, but essentially she said I should hang in. (For a little while longer, at least.) I knew it would be a hard slog - I told you that, didn't I? Physician heal thyself.
I was going to remind you how tough this writing business is (as if you didn't know), but I watched a documentary the other night on the production torments of Broadway shows - how hard they work, the preview process, refining the script, re-writing music and lyrics, the stress of First Night and the ultimate bete noire - the critic. The odds of failing are astronomical. Imagine the heartbreak - for everyone in the company - to be forced to close after a couple of months, a couple of weeks, or even one night. Makes me feel a lot better about my choice of artistic endeavor.