There's not really been much new to report yet, really. So I printed out my manuscript again and have been kind of picking at it.
I've let it sit long enough now that I find lots of stuff I don't even remember writing. It's almost like reading something someone else has written.
And I like it. I like it a lot. It's exactly the kind of book I'm always looking for, full of place-ness, all dark and chimerical.
I've now had two requests for fulls. I still need to submit to a few more agencies... and will be very lucky to hear anything at all back before August. (That's where this is so tricky-sticky... all these different, unpredictable response times.)
I'm really itchy to start my next book, Savages. I've kind of outlined it and have done a few sketches for chapters here and there; I wake up from dreams and write notes to myself about it. So it's almost time.
Experiencing an interesting reluctance to start on it too soon. (My deadline to start again is August 1.) It's been such a blissfully carefree feeling to not carry around hundreds of pages in my head all the time. I've been so much more present. We had a blissful weekend. Dinners and parties with lovely friends. We threw a big one before a friend's concert on Saturday, went nuts until four in the morning. Then a lazy Sunday, reading, making pizza, watching movies.
But... I also can't wait to build a whole new world. We watched a fantastic documentary on D.T. Suzuki the other day. At the end he talked about how all is one- life is death, and death is life, all that. Strength and weakness the same thing.
This habit of mine (of mind) I have, this penchant for writing; it's my greatest strength, and so my greatest weakness. At once it is my tenderest and proudest place.
But I guess we're all that way about the things we love, aren't we? A friend was telling me how its a good thing, my writer-y-ness, but I wonder. This very same penchant, not so long ago, I guess I'd have been mauled by a lion. And if society goes all to hell, what with climate change and shifting world powers...well... I guess I might get mauled by a lion yet!
“Anyway is a such strange word," Ada said. "When you think about it. It’s a secret passage of a word. ‘Anyway’- always taking you from here to there.”
“Ada, my dear, you are fascinating, and I have forgotten myself. It’s late. You should go on to bed. I can show myself out.” Patrick shot out his watch. It was old fashioned, with a fawn colored leather strap. “Your parents probably don’t even realize I’m still here.” (Evening's Land.)
Anyway... Recently read Lawrence Osbourne's The Wet and the Dry, and The Paris Wife. The Wet and the Dry was very, very good. Unapologetic and fascinating. Loved it but was chilled. The Paris Wife, which Andrew's lovely grandfather recommended that I read, was incredible. I wrote to him this morning:
"What a sensation- to have had such a vivid and beguiling window into Hemingway's life, then to have had it close again, for good. Jarring.
But I guess that must have been how Hadley felt- shut out from [Hemingway] forever. I haven't read such an immediate and deeply transporting book in a while. I was sad to reach the end.
The last lines were perfect though."
It was an absolutely wonderful story. I still feel a little caught up in it.
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
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Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)