Sunday, December 27, 2009
Novels and Poems
You haven't heard much from me in the last week or so because I fell into a novel. Not one I'm reading, one I'm writing -- much deeper waters. I started this thing about five years ago as a novel. It had morphed from a travel memoir to grow characters and a plot, and then I started to like some of the characters. Not all. But some. But it was insane to be writing a novel and trying to finish two poetry manuscripts, several plays, earn a living, contributing-edit a zine, help moderate an online poetry workshop, and do one or two other things like take out the trash and make an occasional sandwich. So I put it aside, promised my agent I'd send the first promising 60 pages I finished and --- voila! Five years went by.
Suddenly I hit the holidays, my father's death, a slowdown in work, a few other personal roadblocks of major proportions, and the only thing that could interest me were these crazy people stuck in Italy on an art history tour gone horribly wrong.
(Write that down -- I can use it in the query letter!)
The image you see is where I am currently stuck. In the Pantheon in Rome, having an epiphany about how wrong my life has gone and how if I find an eye big enough -- say as big as the oculus in the Pantheon -- I might be able to see a way out of it. My character is an accountant. I have been an accountant. He yearns for beauty. I will reveal no more, but the Pantheon is surely a great place to contemplate the need for beauty in one's life.