Not Writing


Strange phenomenon around the Casa di Marta. For the first time in forever I’m not writing anything. The going-out-of-business of Bygone Era Books, the resultant return to me of my manuscript (nicely formatted for publication) and my contract, the news from the other publisher who wanted the book, that I must start the submission process again in May, naturally took the wind from my sails.

The “sequel” to The Brothers Path — which I have begun — is about as compelling to me right now as cold fried eggs. I know the key is to write for the sake of the story, and I’m good with that, but the story has to mean something in some way. So far I’m honestly not interested in the people who came to America. I can totally believe they were criminals and vagrants and religious fanatics who could not get along with anyone. How else could we have gotten where we are today with primary elections in which there are TWO good guys running and NEITHER of them is slated by the “media” to be winners? It was the “media” that got a lot of our ancestors here (including mine) — “We’ll pay your way. You only need to sell us your children to work in our fields and you work in our fields, too, until your fare is paid off which could be FOREVER, you gullible sots.”

I think partly that is due to the egregious election it seems we’re faced with this time and the fact that I know how all that turns out — Dennys and strip malls and Wal-Mart and rejection emails and silence and publishers going out of business and me feeling disgusted by the whole thing.




17 thoughts on “Not Writing

  1. I’m not writing much these days either. It may be because I’m spending most of my spare time volunteering for Bernie. He’s the only hope for sanity in this election I’m sorry to hear your publisher went toes up on you. That’s the most unnerving thing that can happen to those of us on the fringes of the craft. It happened to a poet friend who just got his galley in the mail with news that he could keep it and give it to the next publisher in line. I’ve pulled out my first novel and started rewriting it. It can’t possibly be worse than it was, and there are some nuggets of ideas in it I want to pursue. Worked a good three hours on it this week, which gives you an idea how motivated I am.

    At least you have Bear and company to keep you interested and moving!

  2. I hope you get your mojo going again- hopefully when you get past the fact that you must start again with another publisher. I can well believe that has been a very low point for you but keep your chin up, I am sure one day you’ll find a better publisher and you’ll be off to a new beginning.

  3. Every day, I learn something new about the (ever-changing, flaky, weird) book publishing business, and it seems when one small or midsized publisher closes up shop, another five open for submissions. Meanwhile, the “big five” seem to do little but cater to the mindless masses with their James Pattersons, celebs-turned-memoirists, and angry conservative commentator moneymakers, locking out anyone without “adequate” representation. Anyway, keep writing, no matter. Don’t lose your stride. If it means taking a little break from the sequel to The Brothers Path, fine, but write something new, like a short story. A colleague of mine and I are using the spring break to do just that. πŸ™‚

    • I’m going to see what happens in May — that publisher requires exclusive submissions. And they’re attached to a university — when I had to choose between the two I had no clear idea how to do that. It was weird. I didn’t even have any clear “gut” feeling about one or the other. I think maybe I’ve been doing this so long with so little return that part of me is kind of “dead” to the whole thing.

      Then, as the publisher who had my book was “designing” it I didn’t like what he was doing and wanted to do it myself — an aspect of self-publishing I like, actually, designing covers and all that.

      I’m selling books out of the art co-op shop I’m a member of and that’s surprising. But it’s word of mouth. One friend read both of the novels that are out and she tells all her friends and read from one in church! Pretty interesting…

    • I think so. I for sure don’t think there’s any point writing if writing isn’t making me happy, and it isn’t. I feel a little like the kid who packs up his toys and goes home because the other kids are mean. πŸ™‚

  4. 2016 seems a dud so far, winter (here), election madness, all the threats possibly looming against us, some great entertainers dying.. blah. I can’t scare up anything but a rhubarb face. Maybe everyone just needs some Spring?

    • Maybe — but spring seems to have come early to the San Luis Valley. We had six weeks of winter then BAM! Sunny day after sunny day — temps in the high 40’s to low 60’s; cold at night, though: 15 etc. But this election is truly and inescapably depressing and enervating. Hope you get some spring soon. It is very nice to see those little bulb plants stick out their heads, struggle for light and send up a flower.

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