Wow. Four whole months since my last post, huh. It’s, um, (counting off in her mind)…October. Hoo-boy.
I thought I’d be much better at this cyber navel-gazing thing than I am. It’s good to see that I am just as disorganized here as elsewhere. Well, huh. Guess I’ve been busy.
I spent the better part of my summer hammering out my second novel, REBEL ANGELS. Once I turned that sucker in, I am telling you that I did not want to do anything but sit in a corner rocking and spinning a quarter. Seriously, somebody could have put on a CD of Celine Dion singing Songs About How Much I Agree with Everything George W. Bush Says, and I wouldn’t have uttered a whimper.
But now I’m back, and so is the novel, complete with revision notes. And I just have this to say: WAS I SMOKING CRACK WHEN I WROTE THIS THING????
Because I just came up from the literary shallow end where I’ve been happily floating for the last two months and actually read from the beginning to page 221 (It’s topping out at 475 pages, folks) and I gotta tell you, I have to laugh to keep from crying. What the hell was I thinking. “Oh, this is what the novel’s about…” p. 75 “No, wait…THIS is what this novel’s about…” p. 143. “I put this in here because….why again?” I am soooo confused, and I’m guessing this is not a good thing. Lots of Greek chorus stuff where people come forward to give information. What my friend Laurie calls the “housemaid on the phone in an old play”, i.e.:
“You say your brother left his bed? But he’s an invalid! And he was last seen heading for the woods? Not the woods where the Morris girl was murdered? The gun? I’m sorry, but it’s missing from the wall, sir!”
Those rewrites are due in a month, two weeks of which I am on tour. I am awash in the fruity lather of panic.
So I’ve got about three weeks (if I beg…which I have been known to do) left to try to correct this aimless, unhinged, free-floating, weird sequel that I’m sure is a horrible mess and derivative and so bad that it will actually give people brain cancer and they’ll go on Oprah to talk about “The book that gave me brain cancer,” and Oprah will give that “I’m too appalled to even speak” head shake as she touches the thigh of this drooling shell of a human being who is ruined forever for having read my terrible, plotless book with the stilted dialogue and the camera will zoom in meaningfully on the Oprah logo while they play the “serious, downer” theme music and there will be a recall and a public flogging and I’ll be forced to do community service bandaging the bed sores of demented people who have a raging hatred of writers and who scream out “you suck!” at me while forcing me to watch the commemorative Franklin Mint video of Ronald Reagan’s funeral and making me get up to replay endlessly the bit where Nancy kisses the flag-draped casket and I will have to stand there and take it without even so much as an Extra-Strength Advil to dull my senses and they’ll show my misery circus on the Brooklyn public access channel every Wednesday night at 9:00 and again on Mondays at 11:00 in case anybody missed the public humilation of the author whose book was such a horrible, godawful disappointment that it gave people brain cancer.
Oh wait. But then my book will be on Oprah. Cool.
So, I’ve got major work to do. I am, however, going on tour next week for YM magazine’s Book Club contest. I’ll get to meet with the winners who will read their essays, and I’ll have dinner with the girls and five of their friends. Very, very fun. I’m off to North Carolina and Maryland next week followed by Chicago, LA, and San Francisco in November.
Till then, I’m wrestling with the Angel and remembering my promise to my editor that I wouldn’t throw in something like a Talking Dolphin who narrates the whole thing from his perch at an existentialist SeaWorld while she’s on sabbatical just to mess with her.