One of the real delights in being a novelist – in part because it’s such a rare occurrence it never gets old – is the completion of a book. And I just did. Complete a book. Whoopie!
One of the questions I often get is “how long did it take?”, which really is impossible to answer. I started the book over ten years ago, sometime in the mid noughts. But that was the first incarnation. Then I started playing with it, changing a great deal of its structure, not liking the result, and then abandoned it. Since then I wrote and published another novel, A Dark and Promised Land.
A little bit of everything, and why life is a dish best served a little burnt. A photo essay of a single weekend trip to Portland Island and back.
Not a boat dog.
Now that one dilapidated Westy is decrusted I am able to start with Peanut’s much-needed facelift. Although the work is largely aesthetic – barring the numerous leaks into the cabin when it rains – I’ve really wanted to get at it, because the old girl looks pretty shabby, and with those lovely lines and traditional bones it’s just not right. I’ve had several folks pop by while I’ve been working on her, most telling me how beautiful she’ll look when done. And I agree with them, but of course that means they don’t think she’s beautiful now.
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I had one local shipwright stop by to ogle and drool over her. He thought she was a gorgeous boat, and better, when I told him I was a novelist, he blurted out “You’re just like Hemingway!”
Modesty prevents me from agreeing with him, although his advice that I take Peanut to Cuba like Hemingway evoked a certain yearning. But I can’t allow myself to get distracted; she needs a lot of work. I had been going at her kind of willy-nilly, just tackling what interested me, but it soon dawned on me that this was a big job and the methodical approach would be best.