No novel work this week, but I'm finally ready to start the first draft of In the Cage of Ghosts after five weeks of preparation. Sounds like a lot, right? It's not, believe me, because it took just five sittings to get me to this stage. Had I applied ass to chair on Jan 1st and continued to do so on a daily basis until I was ready to roll on (draft) one then I would've been good to go before the end of the first week of the year. Sometimes, though, ideas take a little time – not to mention coaxing, gentle or otherwise – to untangle themselves into something worthwhile. Sorry I don't have more to report on this at the moment, but I hope to give you more in the coming weeks.
Reading consumed most of my spare time this week. I finished Jonathan Maberry's Ghost Road Blues (scroll down the right hand margin to read my short review) and started King's latest, Duma Key. Now, I haven't said this in a long, long time, simply because Mr King has not given me any reason to say it, but… (deep breath) this one is a winner – so far. I'm a little over one hundred pages in and I'm captivated. While Cell was by King standards flat and uninspired and Lisey's Story was overlong and overwritten, Duma Key is…well, it's not. Edgar Freemantle is one of King's most interesting protagonists starring in what is, again so far, one of his finest mysteries. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For some time now I've been wondering, like many of you I'm sure, what happened to the guy who brought us Misery and The Stand and two of my own favourites, The Long Walk (okay, that's a Bachman) and Hearts in Atlantis. Assuming this one doesn't take a nosedive after page 150, I'd say he's finally found the niche it seems he's been so determined to find and occupy in the years since his Accident, that of the writer who can bridge the gulf between genre and literary fiction. My faith is restored. So far.
Finally, I've decided to take a break from submitting for a while. Why? I'm on a bad streak, have been for months, and the pile of rejections has me asking uncomfortable questions of myself. I reckon I need to rebuild my confidence, so I'm knuckling down to work on the projects I've been talking about here until I feel ready to put my neck back on the block or until one of the small number of stories I still have out there finds a good home, whichever comes first...
3 submissions: Crazyhorse, Murky Depths, Eclipse Two
6 rejections: Triangulation, HLQ, Vestal Review, Outercast, GUD Magazine, Postcards From Hell
Currently reading: Duma Key by Stephen King
Recently watched: Glory (****), Roxanne (****1/2), Zodiac (****)
Current iPod favourite: n/a
4 hours ago