The weekend following my last post, my wife and I drove over to Largo to see my niece run the mile and 800 meter races in her track meet. For us that’s like a two and a half hour drive. Normally that’s okay, we can find things to talk about for that long, but it’s still pretty much wasted time. This time I schemed to use the time productively.
As I said in my last post, Malette has been after me to write a book for my granddaughter, who will be five in September. I’m sorry, I tried, but my mind just can’t do the Dr. Seuss or Winnie-the-Pooh kind of thing. It just doesn’t work. What I have begun is something for young adults. I included the first chapter of The Darkened Room in my last post. Malette wanted something she could read and not get freaked out by. No rape, incest, bestiality, murder, or creative use of cream cheese. I saw the trip over as an opportunity to preview the first five chapters.
I printed out a copy of what I had so far, placed it in the car beside my seat, and didn’t tell her about it until we were on the interstate. She asked what I wanted to talk about and I gave her the copy.
Her review was enthusiastically positive, and not just because she’s my wife. After thirty-three years together she has no problem pointing out when I screw up. This makes her opinion of the story all the more valuable. Now, that doesn’t mean that she didn’t find any mistakes. She found a typo (it is a rough draft after all), made a couple of suggestions, and said that I needed to show it to Pam, my sister-in-law, who is a trained elementary school teacher, but now home schools.
Before we left for the track meet, Pam read the copy and was equally enthusiastic. But the best part was when she got to the last page:
“What! Wait a minute. You can’t stop it here. Where’s the rest?”
I couldn’t buy a reaction like that. And when you’re reader says, “You can’t leave me hanging like that.” I’d say I’m on the right track. What do you think?
Last night Malette asked me if I’d written anything new on the story. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. So now I’m working on Chapter 10 and I finally have a clear idea of where the book is going, but I can’t share that yet. Not with her, and not with you. Sorry. The world I’ve created is too new and it, to a degree, is still in flux. When it’s ready to emerge, I’ll let you know.
If all goes well, The Darkened Room will be finished in a couple of months. Then comes editing and reviews. I’ll try to keep you up to date as things happen. After that I hope to turn my focus on my other novel, 1933, and get that completed.
If you would like to share your ideas about what I’ve written, feel free to contact me here, on my blog, or using other social media. Thanks.