I have desired for some time to update you readers with news of the novel Marzio and I are crafting, but it seems that every time I have a spare moment it goes to some other, fleeting fancy. I am exceedingly drawn to distraction as a matter of course, especially such folly that bears an artistic bent. I’ve been dabbling in small drawings, making small tokens of Arcadian whimsy, indulging in peculiar fictions and living my life–as I see fit–with little or no obligation to the page. My life has been thrown into an uproar of displacement and, when accompanied by foul winter weather, has resulted in an obstinate and capricious mood. Although we are at the final chapters, the work draws on. Some nights I labor on the maps needed for the novel, some nights I edit. Other nights I indulge in flippant games, whiling away till the early morning hours. This sort of questionable behavior has often led me to believe I have no business writing, but what then do I do with this calling? I have not one but a dozen books inside me all begging and screaming in the recesses of my distracted mind. If I were to forget such personages and worlds that shine so brightly in my mind, I think I would find my existence rather fallow, as stories are the greatest and most rewarding distraction of all.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” –Hemingway
Not a day goes by when I don’t cavort with and commune with these lively phantasms of my imagination. It is as if we are caught in a sort of sylvan dance, twirling about with tambourines and flutes, frisky in our knowledge of some grove hidden from mortal eyes. The worlds Marzio and I live in and share by virtue of collaboration are bursting at the seams with excitement. It is true that I may chase this lightning with the slowness of a caterpillar, silky word by silky word, and I am, by no means, a diligent spider, yet the web grows a little every day. Marzio and I embarked on this dream-induced idea of a novel over a year and a half ago. It has surprised and delighted us, irritated and frustrated, caused many an argument and many a fit of laughter. The manuscript has sat idly, collecting dust for months on end, then suddenly sprung to life again–overflowing. In between its adventuresome pages Marzio and I have had adventures of our own. The last year and a half have been a sort of crucible for us that has left its indelible mark. Great joys have followed great sorrows, relief has never strayed far from stress. I lost my grandfather. Marzio got divorced. We both traveled to exotic places. I have bought a new home, a castle in the mountains with its share of peculiarities. We have both been ill and experienced first hand the power of energy healing. In short, we have lived this past year more fully than other years, and so, instead of admonishing ourselves for not working faster, we smile in the knowing that the novel will be done when it’s done. Fate or Fortune cannot be rushed.
Thus we have gained a new understanding–a wisdom that comes to the writer when he thinks to stab himself with the very implement used to craft his trade (metaphorically speaking). We have learned that writing is not like architecture, but rather, much more like gardening. Dig a hole, plant the seed, water and tend it, then let the seasons simmer that fertile kernel while it blooms into something wonderful. We have learned to live in the sun at ease in the knowledge that living is what is needed for us to write. Experience is the necessary fuel required to walk the path of the writer.
These days Marzio and I don’t become vexed at having to scrap five thousand word chapters. The truth is that a good seedling doesn’t always yield a bountiful plant. Some vintners tear up their vines after five years and start over–good authors aren’t afraid to do the same. Writing is about self discovery and many who embark on this venture soon grow weary of the merciless process of cross examination that plagues the author’s mind. When people write about the joys of writing I can only imagine that they have some hidden, dark, masochistic streak that favors pain–we certainly do. Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
The deeper we venture down this rabbit hole (part of what makes this process exhilarating), the more we realize that people who take shelter in the guise of ordinary life, have long since turned back. The artist, like the writer is a bipolar, often conflicted, passionate creature who is constantly testing walls and doors to see where they may lead. We may, on the surface appear calm, but beneath that flimsy quotidian veneer lies a den of racy peculiarities–which we love to flash to the unsuspecting bystander.
Here’s the update on The Tendrils of Fate? The novel is almost complete. The manuscript as it stands right now is at 140K words. The final book will be closer to 160-180K so I think it will be a 500+ page book. We can’t wait to hold this novel in our hands, to rifle through its printed pages and smell the slightly acrid scent of black ink and glue. This whole book has been written by the seat of our pants, it’s grown organically into a lush and beautiful vine, one which we entreat you to climb (at your own peril or pleasure). It is a book about a far off, fantasy land that is still recognizable to our senses–a prequel of sorts to other stories that will follow. Our editor is eagerly awaiting the manuscript and the beta readers have the first ten chapters in their hands. Our plan is to find an agent and ultimately a publisher and to see our book in bookstores. We may be undisciplined and remiss in our writing habits, but that is not to say that we haven’t cried out, laughed out loud, or bled over our keyboards.