Monday, March 24, 2014
Where does the time go?
It's a running joke my wife and I shared for years. It's a major plot point in my first novel I hope to publish very soon. It is both a literal and figurative description of what I've done with my life.
There is - literally - a closet in the basement of my house that contains dozens of notebooks, computer disks and several bankers boxes full of manuscripts, half-finished stories and hundreds of pages of notes and ideas for other tales. I have no idea how many hours, days and years of my life are piled on those shelves under the stairs, but it is a substantial portion. From my high school years right up until the birth of my son I wrote frequently and prolifically. I went through phases where I tried to get novels and stories published, but it never really went anywhere.
Coincidentally, we also keep the cat's litter box in this closet, which I hope isn't symbolic of something.
Figuratively, the time - and my writing career - has been put away in a closet of my life, as grown-up things have taken over my attention. When I was a teenager and through my mid-twenties I dreamed of being a writer. Not just someone who wrote, but an author who published books that other people read. I have a weird fantasy of finding a novel with my name on it in the discount bargain bin at Chapters-Indigo. That would mean that someone thought enough of my skills as a writer that they published a large number of my books; it didn't matter that they were now selling them off at fire-sale prices. At least at $5.99 for a hardcover someone might buy the damn thing.
(The discount books are always hardcovers. Unsold mass-market paperbacks are destroyed instead of returned to the publisher, it's cheaper that way. Oddly I don't get the same thrill from imagining a minimum-wage stock boy tossing my books into a dumpster by the armload.)
I started taking my writer-self out of the closet again recently. I'm not getting any younger, and though I certainly don't have any more time or energy than I did a year ago, I'm going to use what little I have to try and create something I'm proud of. I already started writing at Rule of the Dice again, a blog about table-top role-playing games, to get warmed up (you should check it out). I've started writing here. I may do the A-to-Z April Blog Challenge.
And very soon, when I'm ready, I'm going to go downstairs and get Ten Thousand Days out of the closet and send that file off to the Amazon Kindle and Kobo stores to make it available for the world to read.
I'll let you know how it goes.