Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Future is Here

Have you ever prepared yourself for some future event -- a marriage, a birth, the completion of a doctoral degree -- and the date seemed unreachable, the journey neverending? You dream about the culmination, prepare for the emotional and physical and spritual aftermaths when 'it' is attained. Then, suddenly, that impossibly faraway intangible is here. Now. And you wonder -- when did the future catch up with today?

A hospital bed was delivered to my father yesterday. The future has grabbed a toe-hold...


The Writing... If it's November it must be NaNoWriMo. As of day 10, I have amassed 18,452 words, all told in Ben's voice (or some facsimile). Even though I used a fairly detailed outline to knock out significant scenes, of course I followed some unpredicted tangents, resulting in the creation of two new characters, including Nayla, a animal lab tech with a prosthetic leg, and her husband, brilliant neuroscientist Victor Borenchenko, both defected from Russia. But I've had the most fun with antagonist Stanley Minkenstein, the shrink running the clinical trials. Here, an unexpurgated excerpt from the weekly staff meeting:

"Um, wait folks," Stan said over the murmur. "One more thing."

The room quieted.

"You kiddos read this?" He held up the print copy of the The Chronicle of Higher Education. No one nodded. "Well, do peruse this fine rag. A lot of folks think it's just about literature and political science and all those other soft pansy disciplines the academy's unduly fond of. But The Chronicle also provides insight into the culture and politics of academic science. So please -- educate yourselves. You can learn a lot about how to advance your career -- and how not to. For instance, take a lesson from these idiots."

He waved the paper over his head before sliding it across the table. It landed in front of me. I peered at the headline. "Postdocs blog their disgruntlement over ivory tower abuses."

Stan stared at me hard over the heads of the exiting students. "Never, ever crap where you're fed."

The Reading... Who has time to read? I'm too busy writing. Actually, still plugging away at GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, as well as Richard Russo's EMPIRE FALLS and Geraldine Brook's PEOPLE OF THE BOOK.

I know, I know -- I've not posted a debut author from an Indie press review since September. In part, real busy. In part, the two books I purchased were pretty awful and I couldn't finish them. In part, life's really been socking it to me, so...

Write hard, live harder... Peace, Linda


  1. Wierdly, I could see/hear Nicholas Cage delivering Stan's lines exactly as written...

  2. Life is far more unprecictable than fiction; I know I've been there. Take care, Gillian.

  3. My hearts and thoughts are with you, Linda. You'll get through this. Blessings to all your family.

    Your doing amazing at Nanowrimo. I've decided that you and Laurel wilczek must be some kind of Super Women tag team complete with thigh boots and green gloves.


  4. Ah sweetie. time will both drag and go entirely too fast.
    may peace be with you and your family


  5. I'm sorry you're having to cope with familial heartache. :(

    Writing wise - you are waaaaay ahead of me in the Nano department.
    It IS fun to find unexpected characters that can punctuate a scene! I loved the excerpt.
    Uh-oh -- Stanly smells like trouble for Ben.

    Hang in there --

  6. Thanks guys! Nano is my refuge these days... and Nick Cage? Hmmm... good casting.

    And thigh boots? I likey ;^)

    Got your note today, Paige - ty!

    Kim, I just created another character today -- Jeremy, a glass blower who swings both ways and has a penchant for pharmaceuticals but needs someone to prescribe them. Hmmm...

    Keep writing. Peace, Linda

  7. Ooooh I just can't wait to read PURE. I know I say some variation of that every time I post here, but it's so true. And I was totally hooked by that passage. I hope I can get to be one of your early readers again!

    And funny, I was totally seeing it in movie form too. Somehow it just lends itself that way. It just plays out visually.

    And I really like the idea of Jeremy! I say if he's coming to you, listen and give him some pages. Could make an interesting interplay w/Ben's past.