My Insecurity Is Quite Often Fictional

This photograph, by Melissa Thornley Ryon, will adorn the cover of The Intangibles.

This photograph, by Melissa Thornley Ryon, will adorn the cover of The Intangibles.

[cb_profit_poster Acting]Clinton, S.C., Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 12:45 p.m.

I’m sort of cut off from the world right now.

I’ve got this novel, The Intangibles, about to be published. I wrote it a while back. I’m almost finished with the first draft of another, Crazy by Natural Causes. A first draft is a long way from being done, but it’s occupied me to the point where going back and editing Intangibles one more time seems like something of a rediscovery. It’s almost like I forgot I wrote it.

Almost.

It would sort of be depressing if I read The Intangibles now and didn’t like it. I’m kind of manic-depressive about my writing. When I’m actually doing it, I’m manic. Whoo, baby, this is good, man. I am rolling today. During the next read, all the perceived flow seems to disappear, and I’m hypercritical. Goddamighty, what was I thinking? This sucks.

Down the road further, I’d like to think my view is balanced, even though that’s kind of ridiculous since it is one’s own writing under consideration. When I go back and start editing for the final time, I’m a little worried, even though by then, it’s too late.

I’m really happy to be able to tell you that, miraculously, what I wrote was good and, I think, plausible. Mine, of course, isn’t the opinion that matters. Ultimately, the test is what readers think.

My anxiety is far from over.

This is the cover of my first novel. It's about a musician who prevents a plane from being blown up. And he smokes weed. He hates being a hero, but it doesn't keep him from being one.

This is the cover of my first novel. It’s about a musician who prevents a plane from being blown up. And he smokes weed. He hates being a hero, but it doesn’t prevent him from being one.

The challenge, in writing The Audacity of Dope, was creating a story that would draw the interest of a publisher. It’s basically the story of two people, Riley Mansfield and Melissa Franklin, who lead a variety of pursuers, some sinister and some not, on a chase that leads from Texas to South Carolina and through North Carolina, Kentucky, Oregon, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Attempting to manipulate and exploit Riley, the unlikely hero, are an incumbent president, operatives of the government and representatives of both principal political parties.

The Intangibles is more complex. It has a wide variety of characters to weave in and out. It’s a story of people being forced to change and mend their ways, even though they’re bound and determined to resist. It’s about coaches and athletes, kids and adults, bigots and militants, righteousness and corruption. Those who have read it, and it’s not a large number, all seem to think it’s better than The Audacity of Dope. I’m not so sure, but Audacity will always be my first novel, and, as such, it will also have sentimental value in my mind.

It’s now after 1 p.m., which means that time is accelerating. Since I lost my job in January, this has become my great recurring sensation. Every day, I get up early and go to work on something, whether it’s writing this blog or mowing the lawn or paying the bills or washing the clothes. Each day, I feel like I’ve gotten a remarkable amount done before noon. Then time starts speeding up. Maybe it’s because I often bury myself in something, whether it’s reading, writing, or, with the bills, arithmetic.

All of a sudden, I look at the corner of my laptop, or the screen of my iPhone, and it’s 3:30 when it ought to be, well, 1:30. All of a sudden, nine months removed from a newspaper job, I’m on deadline again, even if the deadline might be getting through Chapter 30 or getting a load of clothes folded.

The afternoon time probably wouldn’t fly quite so swiftly if I’d leave that damned iPhone alone. I can never quite make up my mind whether social media saves me time, by leading me to worthwhile stories that I might otherwise never know about, or costs me time by leading me to frivolous, unconstructive pursuits such as replying, “retweeting” and “sharing.” It’s definitely addictive, but it certainly draws people to this blog and website, and, come to think of it, let me add that I appreciate your support and patronage.

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About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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