Writing and Reading

Writing is obsessive.


I have been deep in my new book for the last too-many months, not blogging, sleeping badly, paying bills late. I am only now beginning to see how it will all come out. I never work from an outline, but I usually know what’s supposed to happen in the next twenty or thirty pages and it all ties in roughly with my vague idea of the ending. Like most people, I have a few control issues so writing can feel risky, like jumping out a plane and trusting that your parachute will open. Or the first time you hand the car keys to your son and say “remember the rules.” You just have to trust that everything you’ve done to train and teach and prepare him is going to play out right.


Sometimes, it’s almost eerily supernatural the way an idea comes out of nowhere and I realize that it connects with something I wrote three or four months ago. I discover a theme I didn’t know was there. It’s as if my unconscious is writing this book too, only it way ahead of me. I’ve had a lot such moments with THE NIGHT GARDENER.


By the way, I have ordered a copy of the Twentieth Century classic PARADE’S END by Ford Madox Ford. There was a time when he was considered as great a writer as Joyce, though very different. I remember trying it when I was in college and now I’m going at it again. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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