Scenes from a Homecoming is finally finished, now I have the equally difficult task of summing it up in 500 words or fewer before sending it out. It would be funny to me if the book is accepted by the same publisher who turned down my other work. It might put them in the position of publishing three books instead of one.
whatever happens, I’m looking forward to finishing the 500 words so I can get on with the stage play I started.
And poetry, of course. I read some of the work that’s been sitting on the computer for ages. I think it’s good but I don’t know.
Here’s the opening paragraph from Scenes from a Homecoming, the book I can’t decide whether to self publish or submit to a traditional publisher. It feels ready to be cast out into the world, but it’s less than 57,000 words, and I’m having great trouble reducing it down to the dribble agents seem to want these days. Anyway, enjoy and please share.
Frank Moran entered his childhood bedroom for the first time in over twenty years. He flicked the light switch; a forty-watt bulb in its dusty shade gave the room a derelict patina. He went to the window to draw back the curtains and see the room in natural light. His head pulled away as the opening curtain revealed a new darkness. A beat or two before Frank realized tinfoil covered the glass. He stepped away and looked about the room, as if the explanation were somewhere in the shadows.
which is really a bit of a cliche, but still! I’ve been working on the same poem for weeks, and it’s only now beginning to reveal itself. This is sometimes frustrating, but it’s also beginning to change my thinking about poetry. I think now that there are poems everywhere, in even the most mundane things. Hopefully it will be finished before much longer, I have seven or eight that I think are finished. A few more and I might try to expand my collection of rejection slips!
After almost two weeks of work, I finally finished the first draft of a new poem. I won’t be publishing it here. I’m saving them up to send to magazines. I’ve been learning blank verse, which I discovered is what I’d been trying to write all along. Who knew! It’s fun and challenging, and a couple of months ago I would have considered it finished, but there are rules to follow – not slavishly, but still. The funny thing is, having a definite structure is actually quite liberating and stimulating. I doubt I’ll ever be an instapoet, but that’s not a bad thing. I’ve discovered this is a life pursuit for me, so even if I never publish again, someone sometime might find it useful or amusing. Meanwhile, I get to write it.
I made a useful discovery last week, useful to me, maybe to others. I had just finished draft 16 of my WIP and loaded chapter one to start draft 17. I couldn’t face it. I kept asking myself how many more of these things will it take? Jeffery Archer does 18 handwritten drafts of each book. Ten drafts ago I had been thinking along similar lines, although I’m working on a laptop. I left it for the night and the following day reduced the workload to a paragraph. It’s so much better, the writing has become more fluid and I’m finding questions that need to be answered. The thing is, that’s how I used to write before I decided to be a writer. I’m still working on that first chapter, and still doubtful that the book will sell, but my characters are speaking to me again, so who knows, maybe in six months I’ll be able to volunteer at my job and write full time.
This is a selection of photographs I’ve taken over the last couple of years. I put them on Fine Art America, and decided to compile them into this free PDF, while I try to figure out the future of this blog. The +1 is a photo I took in at Lough Key, in the north west of Ireland a few years ago, while visiting family. Enjoy.