Good golly, I believe in miracles. Despite being tubercular of lung and syphilitic of mind, I have finished the first half of my new book just in time to hop on a plane and fly to Europe, where I will attend my dear friend Tiffany's wedding in Rome and visit publishers in Germany and the Netherlands to discuss the launch of Yoga Bitch in both countries.
It is truly a miracle. Of course, I might return from Europe and find that my coming-of-age story took a sharp left turn during my illness, transfiguring itself into a glorious epic in which faeries and warlocks fight an evil elvin doctor over a few precious dewdroppers of magical magical codeine. But for now, it seems to be the story I set out to tell.
At present, my new book is structured in two halves, and I seem to have fought my way through the fog in my brain to actually finish the first half yesterday. I'm a big believer in deadlines, however arbitrary they might be, and so I told myself I would finish the first half of the book before I leave. My story is about to move to Europe for Part 2, and I liked the idea that I would go to Europe just as the story did.
Here's the thing: it's an unholy mess of a first draft. I shudder to think of anyone reading it before I have the chance to make it work. But buried in the swamp is a footpath that's finally becoming clear. (And it leads straight to that magical elixir! My precious. My precious sweet syrup!)
Ahem. But no, just the act of pressing forward with the story brought so many connections to light. Until I found the ending yesterday-- an ending I didn't anticipate, but recognized when it arrived-- I had been toying with the notion of fixing up Part 1 before moving on to Part 2. I was feeling sort of grossed-out by the uneven writing and hiccupy structure in that first section, and thought it might help the writing to come if I spruced it up a bit first.
But then I found that surprising ending, only by moving forward. It pulled together, quite on its own, the opening chapter of the book, several themes that had been shouting at me through the din, and the heart of the story-- a heart I lose track of sometimes in this first draft. And I think it did all that without looking like a stupid cutesy dumbass bow, too. I think. I hope. But the point is, that ending seemed to be a promise: keep moving forward, and you'll find your way. So I think that's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to Europe, and so is my story.
And there . . . we will get the good drugs. The faerie princess will find the magical ogre who holds the key to the liquor cabinet, and he will get her that dew-and-codeine on the rocks! It will be magical, nay Magickal! Wondrous and magickal!