Said Winston Churchill

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

That quote is on my mind just now because today I finished (well, finished enough to send to my agent) my next novel, LUCY IN THE SKY (A Sixties Trip). It’s a departure for me. No cons, not comedy (well, not much). It’s a coming of age story about a 15-year-old boy living in Milwaukee in 1969 who wants to be a hippie in the worst way. Well, he doesn’t know what a hippie is, really, he just knows that there are none around here, as far as the eye can see. And then, one day, this smart, sexy, incredibly hip 17-year-old girl turns up on the family doorstep, and Gene is instantly in love. Just one problem…she’s his cousin. Well, it turns out she’s not his cousin and — well, I guess you’ll have to wait to find out the rest. Right now I’m on pins/needles wondering what kind of reception the MS will get from my agent.

I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done.

I think it may be the worst.

Truth is, I’ve lost all perspective.

But Churchill said it: you have to fling the beast.

The beast is flung.

I feel empty inside, drained, like I always do when I finish a big project. This one has consumed my days for the past six months (and I think if you can knock out a novel in six months, you’re doing all right.) Tomorrow I’ll have to find something totally else to do. I’ll try, as usual, to take some time off before starting another big project. I’ll fail, as usual, sooner rather than later, because writing is the itch I always need to scratch. But for now, I’m “taking the win.” I’m enjoying the fact of a job, well, done.

And watching the Red Sox. Go Sox.

More later, -jv

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