The Last Lap

So, my original plan with this blog was to follow the creation process of a novel from beginning to end.  To go through all of the shit and imagining and work, and lay it out here.  Things didn’t work out that way, mostly due to my own laziness and reticence to even start this thing.

I started the background notes and “imagining” process for DockRat back in November of 2015–some of the ideas and work date to much earlier, while I was working on other stuff, but for the sake of ease we can pin the beginning of the process there.  I didn’t start this blog until…oh…July.  So much for blogging the entire process…sorry about that.

Can’t you just feel the warmth of my sincerity when I apologize?  Me either.

Get over it.

At any rate, I have been neglecting to post here lately because I have been, well, writing.  I am at the end of the process, and I have thrown pretty much every available minute into writing and/or…well…drinking.  The two kind go together, especially for this book.  {Note – one of my beta-readers said Connor came across as an alcoholic, and my response was, “No shit.”}

To be honest, and blunt: I’m almost there.  Like, REALLY almost there.

The official first draft of this story will by done by the end of the week.  THIS week.  I have three scenes left.  Three.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but the hard part is that two of the scenes are rewrites.  The last two scenes.  The ones I wrote before I started anything else.  Obviously I have to adjust and change them based on everything I’ve written/created in the meantime, but they already exist.  Should be easy, right?  Nope, not a chance…that’s the part that scares me.  Those two will be the last scenes I write for this story.

You know who Oz is to me…I know you know because I told you.  Now I have to go through the end of the story again.

I have to kill Oz…again.

I’ve already killed him, and I don’t know if I can do it again.  Killing Oz, each and every time I revise that scene, feels like reliving the suicides from my own past.

I can’t punch that ticket anymore.

At its core, this is a story about suicide…I want folks who never talk about the subject to learn and understand just a portion of the grief we survivors feel when someone hopeless and miserable dies by their own hand.  I’ve lived it, I know it…and it is harder than hell to write. Why do I do it?

Because I understand.

Because I’ve cried over the tombstones of friends.

Because I’ve wondered just what clues I missed.

Because I’ve felt the guilt and responsibility.

Because I’ve tried myself.

I have to write Oz, and I have to make him matter…to me, to you, and to every single person I can threaten/bribe/intimidate/cajole into reading this book when it’s finally done.

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