Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Writing Commences

So I'm a chapter and a half into the new book. It's going well. I'm not pleased with the writing or the story yet, but this is the very beginning of my first draft. I have a long way to go. I am pleased, however, with my progress. Writing is like going to the gym: the hardest part is doing it. Once you get started, it's easy.

I haven't kept the Saint awake at night, and haven't lost any more envelopes with important musings on them. All in all, I'm tickled.

For a couple of great reads, go check out Konrath's post on racism in publishing. He's talking about how a ton of African American authors find themselves segregated in the African American sections of bookstores, rather than on the literature shelves, the mystery shelves, or wherever the books would go if white authors had written them. It's a provocative post.

I'll add here that Ernest J. Gaines's masterpiece, A Lesson Before Dying, is one of my all-time favorites. Gaines is a black writer, but I found his book in the fiction section at B&N. I've read the novel four times. It stunned me the first time I opened it, and it gets better every time I read it. I've passed it around to a bunch of my friends to unanimous acclaim.

Go grab it if you have a chance. If it's in the right place, it's in fiction or literature, where it belongs. It's one of the best works written in this or any other language.

After you're done with the heavy stuff on Konrath's blog, skip over to E. Ann Bardawill's place. She's got some great stuff, laugh out loud funny. Put down your beverages before you start reading, otherwise you'll need a new monitor. When you read the cameo about me, remember that it's fiction, people. As in, not true and never going to come true. It's a figment of Bardawill's blatantly warped imagination.

Meanwhile, I have friends from Cooperstown arriving later this afternoon, and I also have an empty house. So I have to crank out another thousand words or so on this manuscript before the friends arrive and the Saint and the kids get back. We're having dinner out tonight. Civilized, adult conversation, and a little bourbon to make us act like kids.


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