Rarely have I experienced a more enjoyable evening in association with the arts than the one I attended with my wife, Lisa, last night.
Some famous author once said that when a writer finishes writing their novel, a sort of depression sets in, not unlike the postpartum blues women suffer from right after having a baby. I can't relate to postpartum depression, nor can I say rightly that I get down after completing the last chapter of a novel. you see, I just finished the last chapter to my work, a 97,000-word "upmarket commercial" effort. And I did not get depressed. What I wanted to do was immediately start revising, so I did, looking specifically for two of my blind spots - passive voice and "echo," a term we writers use to describe using the same important word twice within close proximity of each other. That proximity blind spot can be annoying, a speed bump interfering with the reader's flow and proximity to a smooth narrative.
So I did that, weeding out my blind spots. What's next, you may ask?
When Stephen King finishes a novel, he sets it aside for a month or more and does something else, such as going for long walks or watching Boston Red Sox games, or reading what other writers are publishing.
My urge was to get back to working on my fourth Thomas O'Shea novel, since the first two are published (Signs of Struggle 2012 and A Far Gone Night 2014) and a third (The Face on the Other Side) is scheduled for an early 2017 release. So I plan to get after number four in the series, Of Mists and Murders.
I am a professional writer, so I have a compulsion to write, and I am itching to produce that next O'Shea novel, and it nags at me. But first, I am going to follow King's example and take some time off, starting with a long road trip with my bride, watching college football on TV (especially my Iowa Hawkeyes), and enjoying the changing of the seasons leading into my favorite month - October.
I will, however, keep a notebook in close proximity at all times, just in case I need to jot down a piece of dialogue that comes to mind, a vivid setting, or a conflict among my characters I had not thought of previously.
So, no more blogs for a while, but please look to hear from me and my writer's journey when the leaves turn to gold and orange and red.
I am working on the final revision of Thomas O'Shea novel #3 in the series. It's called, The Face on the Other Side. I try to write mornings and attend to other things in the afternoons. Things like yard work, naps, working out, naps, and maybe walking the dog. The dog. She is one year old, her name is Lily, and she is mostly pit bull with some terrier. She weighs 54 pounds. She is sweet, likes to snuggle, and is strong. She is also the most playful dog we have ever had. She likes to play games, and one of her favorites is "Slammer." This we play when she has lots of energy. She communicates this by taking me by the throat and shaking me. I just made that up. Actually, she does communicate her desire to play "Slammer" by getting bouncy and giving me fervent eye contact. And this is how we play the game. I encourage her with cheers and she runs across two rooms and slams herself into the back of a futon couch, then rebounds off the futon and tears back to where she started and then does it all over again without stopping. Her style has been perfected through a short trial-and-error. Simply put, she goes airborne as she reaches the futon, turns her body so her feet are planted against the back of the futon, then springs without stopping into her tearing back where she started, pivots, and does it again. It is hilarious. Her record is 14 slammers before she stopped, finally tired. Eight is fairly common. We cheer her on and she purely enjoys it. Come see. Call first.