New title. New story. Same story. I am trying one more stab at my first novel, what used to be called The Pear Tree House. And I feel connected and sad and tired. I feel like I have something here. Oh editors and literary agents, I have been working on this baby for over a decade. Please see that I have something here. I really do think I have this.
I am just about done reading Cloud Atlas, and the central point is that lives are like the Russian nesting dolls. Well, as I was walking this morning, I was thinking about this metaphor, this idea of the nesting dolls….
Only, I took it my own direction. I thought about how one action will lead into another action which will lead into another.
But what about the consequences of those actions? What about the secrets that we nourish and hide because of our actions? And what about when someone breaks open the doll and stares at the innermost secret that is hidden deep within the others?
That is my novel. That is my story. The fact that we make choices and commit actions which can have irrevocable effects which yield secrets that we do anything to hide. Actions which separate us from those whom we love.
As I writing this, the song “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis has started playing on my iPod. This is the theme song for my second novel, Becoming Lazarus, of which I have written roughly 25,00o words. I know where that novel is going and love that novel. I just need to finish Polishing the Bones. I have to finish that novel. I have to close the nesting dolls one last time. Stack them together, one facing the other. Let them see each other.
And then edit. And then send.
I wrote 1100 words today. Nothing in comparison to what I need to write. But I walked seven miles. And painted 12 shutters in the heat. And took care of my family’s needs. Put the furniture back on the porch.
I wrote 1100 words today while exhausted. And now I have composed another 350. But I will sit here and listen to Queen Elizabeth the First’s 40th birthday present and dream about my characters. Beth, a counselor whose husband calls her a bone polisher. Michael, her husband. Calder, her cousin who is the origin of the secrets. Robert, her father who doesn’t want to understand the reality.
Virgil, a three-legged dog. The graces…the three sisters.
I have this story. And I’m going to write it. And I’m going to publish it. I will do this. I will do this. I will do this.