W. P. Johnson

Seeing The Horizon

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

I woke up this morning and did my usual routine of coffee and mindlessly scrolling down Facebook to see what my friends had been up to in the seven hours since I last checked (it takes me about twenty minutes to really wake up to begin typing). Randomly, I clicked on Brian Keene’s blog entry, which was something about how writers still don’t bother saving their money and that we still live paycheck to paycheck. Very short entry, but none the less, a few words of where he was in his head space that morning.

“I should start doing that,” I thought.

So from now on, I’ll write the occasional long form entry about whatever it is that’s going on. But today, just a few words. Whatever it is that enters my head as the coffee does it’s work, unedited, start to finish. Like it or lump it.

The novel, A Song For John, is good. I’d reread the previous chapters this past weekend and found myself really surprised by how good some of the chapters were, like they were written by someone much better at writing than I am. Yesterday I had a flash of the ending. I always knew how it would end, but I started to see more details, the horizon of it so to speak. It was a strange experience. To say the least, I kept thinking in my head that when I finally type those last words, when I press save, or download, or whatever, and I know that a first draft has been completed, I will probably bawl my eyes out. I’m actually really embarrassed to say that because, while I take writing very seriously, I don’t like to take myself too seriously and I’m not much for people that have a militant self indulgent take on themselves as poets suffering for the greater good of their readership. I’m just trying to tell some stories man, that’s all. But at the same time I found myself becoming emotional at the idea of saying goodbye to this particular story I’ve spent the past nine months working on and will likely finish by the end of November.

I’m also nervous. Nervous that no one will want it. I have some publishers in mind and I keep fantasying about sending them the book and then they’ll respond with something along the lines of, “this is just amazing, we’ve never read anything like this before”, but my cynicism tempers these fantasies with another voice shouting it all down with, “you fucking idiot, it’s just a ghost story, you’re not a genius”. Well… who can say how people will react? In the nine months I’ve worked on it, no one else has read a single word. Maybe someone will snag it up, maybe things will turn out exactly how I’d like them to.

This week I have a vacation in Key West. I’ve been there before a few years ago with my fiancee, and she always wanted to go around Halloween for something they do called Fantasy Fest, which is sort of their version of Mardi Gras. By the time I leave I’ll be close to 400 pages of the novel and if I had to guess I’d say there’s another 150 before it’s “buttoned up” as my father is prone to saying (though I think he’s jokingly referring to someone else’s mannerisms). I’ve two costumes for the event, since it’s sort of expected that you dress up: Vacation Dracula, and Vacation Hannibal Lector, both of which are just the monsters in question with cabana wear. I mean, I found the ugliest shirts I could for these things. My fiancee on the other hand has come up with three costumes, all with their own clothes, design, etc. She’s so much better at these things than I am, but part of me thinks if I put in equal effort it would take attention away from all her hard work. Besides it makes her happy. Personally, I’m happy for her in a way. She’s better at a lot of things than I am: birthday cards, phone calls to home during the holidays, decorations. There’s an external beauty to how she lives and acts, whereas I find myself existing in my head, especially these days. I’m the guy that lets the bathroom floor get filthy because, fuck it, it’s not like I eat off the damn thing. And besides, I hardly notice it for all the things going on in my head at this hour. I suppose it comes to mind lately because of how much I’ve left things fall to the wayside as I become immersed in the book. My body, the house, and I’ll be damned if I wrote any birthday/holiday cards this past year. I don’t think I even made a phone call without my fiancee reminding me to.

Well, at any rate, hopefully this weekend will re-energize me to make it to the finish line with the novel, after which I will take a week off, then get right on to the next project. And maybe I can spend some time seeing family and friends without that lingering thought in my head that I can’t stay too long cause I’ve got to get up early the next day to write. Maybe, just for once, I’ll turn the alarm off on my phone and get some sleep.

Until then, here’s to being scary.


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