I packed my car before dawn on Sunday, ushered my pug into the back seat and drove until I reached the beach. I am taking a week off from the world to begin again.
It is not such an odd thing that a writer will abandon one work to start another. This is what I have done despite some positive feedback from agents and editors. I found that I could not do even one more rewrite. At least not now. I have other stories to explore in my world of Alleysiande, and the one I was telling was no longer drawing my passion.
It will take some time to write a new book, but it is a bit better than page 1 again. I have a lot of material in drawers and folders that will decorate this manuscript and a first chapter stolen from Shadowed Castles that did not fit with the rest of the book.
That chapter and the tale I’ve been aching but afraid to tell fits here in the new book. Life has dealt me some scars as of late, a terrible diagnosis, loss of loved ones, and a world in steady decline that seems to reject light and love, and creeps with ever more deliberate steps toward oblivion.
I am not the person I was nor the same writer. In the words of the inestimable W.B. Yeats, true of those of us who watch freedom erode in the West as it was for the Irish who watched four executed for their audacity to try for a free Ireland, I find myself forever altered.
All changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born.
W.B. Yeats, Easter 1916
In the past, I shied away from telling a story from extraordinary angles, never daring to tell my stories from a point of view greater than my own so the angels and demons of my tales were mute and met with the same astonishment and blindness truth often encounters.
My tales were hurt by this lack of confidence in my part. So I must walk a while with demons. And not without hope. If paradise can be lost, can it not be found again? So I begin once more with less time than I had before, but I think I am standing in the right place. I think I am finally here.
I’m not a river or a giant birdThat soars to the seaAnd if I’m never tied to anythingI’ll never be freeI wanted magic shows and miraclesMirages to touchI wanted such a little thing from lifeI wanted so muchI never came close, my loveWe never came nearIt never was thereI think it was hereThey showed me crimson, gold and lavenderA shining paradeBut there’s no color I can have on earthThat won’t finally fadeWhen I wanted worlds to paintAnd costumes to wearI think it was here‘Cause it never was there