Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Merci pour l'amour

Thanks to everyone who commented on my funk over the past couple of days, whether with heartfelt sympathy or imperious demands that I stop feeling sorry for myself, get up off my ass, and start writing again.

I'm by no means cured of my melancholia but am feeling somewhat better. For one thing, I sat down yesterday and read my book. And I still believe it's rock-solid good, strongly written with an inventive plot that builds suspense and a killer ending. Maybe not Pulizter Prize-good or Edgar-winner good, but, honestly, as good as a lot of mystery/thrillers out there and a damn sight better than many. (I know, every author thinks the same.) Certainly better than the Sue Grafton mystery I'm reading now, which takes forever to get going, and in which she wastes two pages describing the inside of a motel room, a couple pages ruminating on a Burma Shave sign in an antique shop, along with other decidedly dull diversions. Of course, she's a fucking bazillionaire with a boatload of published books and I'm just a guy who can't convince an agent to take me on, so WTF do I know?


Whatever ever the reality, I felt confident enough to send out another five queries. I'm still bummed that so many of my January queries have gone unanswered and fear they were just deleted...though among them are some snail-mail queries with SASEs, I don't know. As usual, waiting is tough.

I still feel like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman some of the time, carpet-bombed by discontents and regrets. Hopefully the arrival of spring will help. It does get gloomy up in this neck of the woods at this time of the year.


  1. Good for you - send those five - you never know, one of those just might be "the one"=)

    It's always strange to read something and see what clearly isn't working, yet there the book is, right there in our hands, published. That *will* be you someday, too. (Well not the "see what clearly isn't working part", because yours will work.)

  2. I'm often amazed at some of the books I read, realizing that someone actually got that crap published!?!

    It's ill... keep trying though. Nothing else us UNPUB's can do.

  3. Yes - keep sending them. Query away!

  4. Yea!!!
    You go, Trav!

    I know all about melancholy. It's a writer's lot. Embrace it. There's a quote I like by William Stryon-
    "Let's face it, writing is hell."

    Or...reaching waaaay back, one by Samuel Beckett-
    "Suffering is the main condition of the artistic experience."

    I love quotes, little snippets of wisdom.

    You're in good company. And the lows are pretty damm Dead-Sea deep but the highs are mightier than Whistler!

  5. i just hugged my monitor. that was for you.

  6. Hey Trav, I think I understand how you feel, I go through something similar every day. Writing's a chore, I can't be f***ed; last year two relatives died, a close relative tried to end his life by driving his car off a cliff, I crashed my motorcycle and broke my right foot in five places and couldn't walk for three months - not to mention financial issues or other monumental screwups. I also wrote an outline and synopsis of another novel only to find it left me feeling like it was utter bull**** and deserving of a future only as kindling.

    But that's our lot. That's what being a writer is about. Adversity happens to everyone, but not everyone is a writer. Not everyone can tap into that melancholy that springs from failure and write something that is truly affecting. I came to realise this first through a post by Dean Wesley Smith in which he calls writers Drama Queens. At first I was all 'WTF?' until on further thought I realised he's absolutely right. We are! It's a vocational requirement.

    The second and most recent reaffirmation of this was Rowling's speech to Harvard. If you've not seen it yet, I highly recommend watching it. And then watching it again.

    And then pick yourself up and write something. Maybe write a short story and submit it for publication. Who knows, it might just open a door for you.