The long silence

Why the long silence?

I’ve been finishing a novel. That takes a lot of focus, at least for me.

Have you finished it yet?

Not quite. But close.

Do you know how it will end?

Yes. But I didn’t know the details until recently. In fact, a new development just came up — one I hadn’t anticipated.

Why is that? Shouldn’t you plan ahead?

Not with novels. Not for me. Doesn’t work. I write chapter summaries after I write the chapter — not before.

Sounds backwards.

It is. But the novel-writing process is mysterious. Even for novel writers. I should know. I’ve written a few, and I’m still mystified.

How many?

Let’s see. There was my first twenty-something attempt. Then another, not quite cooked through; still simmering on a back burner. Then my coming-of-age novel. Then my sexy novel. Then my retrospective novel. And now this novel.

What’s this one called?

One Who Loves.

Intriguing. Where did that title come from?

It’s from Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage: “There’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.”

This quote, in turn, is based on an old French proverb: En amour, il y a toujours celui qui donne les baisers et celui qui tend la joue. (In love, there is always one who kisses and one who offers the cheek.)

So it’s about somebody who loves somebody else and isn’t loved back?

Yes. But it’s also about a lifelong friendship between two couples who meet in college — and it’s about marriage, infidelity, raising one’s children, surviving loss and trauma, and death.

Death? That’s heavy.

It’s what happens at the end of life. To all of us. Some earlier. Some later on. We all have to deal with it.

When can we see this novel in print?

When some hungry literary agent picks it up, or when I self-publish it — whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, will there be more posts?

Yes. And possibly some ‘guest’ posts, as I’ve invited fellow members of Holly’s writing workshop to contribute essays on reading and writing, if they’re so inclined.

Looking forward to those guests posts.

Oh? Mine aren’t good enough for you?

You writers are so sensitive!

I suppose.

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