“How’s The Book Coming?”

Printed draft of "Bold They Rise." Photo by Heather R. Smith

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail recently asking how things were coming on the book Heather and I are writing. The fact that it took me almost a week to respond is part of the answer. This, though, is what came out when I tried to answer the question.

How is the book coming? The book is a harsh mistress that consumes everything, wants everything, is jealous of everything. More and more work goes into the book, and yet the end remains ever elusive. The book requires sacrifice of so much of my time, and every moment not spent on the book it lurks there in my mind, reminding me that it hungers for more of my time, and that whatever else I’m doing, it’s there, waiting, and won’t go away until it’s taken what it needs of me. It’s beginning to take shape, gradually becoming less of a collection of disparate parts to be cobbled together, and more of a thing unto itself, with its own form and arc and personality. Watching it take shape is eminently rewarding, but more rewarding still will be finally seeing it through, finishing the race, fighting the good fight, and, at last, at long last, being free of its tyranny, free of its demands, and, for the first time in way too long, knowing peace and rest without the awful specter of obligation.

That’s how the book’s coming.