What photo do you use to signify that you have finished the first draft of a new novel. How about the back cover photo and spine?
Yes, the first draft of Chimera is complete. I finished it at 5:38 on Sunday September 27th, 2015, having spent a hour and a half in the middle of the night writing the last chapter. All of a sudden there was an urgency to finish and chapter one hundred seemed like a good round number to finish on. The story had been growing crescendo and something was bound to give. Even then, the end surprised and delighted me. I had feared the worst but …
I checked my writer’s log. I began the draft on Tuesday, February 25th 2014. In between time, I also edited and published In Search of Lost Girls. The draft has gone through three different titles before becoming Chimera, which is unusual for me. When I find a title, I stick with it. At one point, I ditched a 30’000 word draft to begin again. The first complete draft is around 130’000 words.
I have already begun a first edit while the text is fresh in my mind. There are various important things that need to be done. Once that is finished, I will let the manuscript rest for a while during which time I plan to publish the third book of The Storyteller’s Quest: The Starless Square.
Good to see some of my books in a public library in the States. This one is attached to a secondary school. Thanks to Ginger Dawn for nudging them into taking my books and for snapping this photo. If you would like to help by getting your local library to procure my books, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me if you have any questions (via the comments below). Click on the book names below to know more about the books: Boy & Girl, In Search of Lost Girls.
Off Shoots 13 was officially launched today at a special event in Geneva organised by the Geneva Writers Group. In this publication you will find one of my short stories entitled The Light Knows No Secrets. Here are the opening lines:
“What did you say, Sandy?”
“I didn’t speak, my love.”
“Then who said that about the light?”
Please don’t tell me I’m hearing voices. (…)
You can read the whole flash fiction here.
The end of Chimera came to me this night. Believe me, I wasn’t at all happy with what was waiting for me at four in the morning. I knew it was likely to be a sad ending. Sami, the main character, has been hinting at it for quite a while, despite all those close to her refusing to give in to her fears. But this level of grief is just too much. All through the writing of Chimera, I have clung to the hope that another ending would turn up; the miracle alternative. Surely such a tragic ending is not inevitable. Even now, I am tempted to push aside what I witnessed and look for alternatives, or at least to ease the shock. But once the story ending is written down, albeit in note form, it takes on a solidity that, if not unavoidable, exerts an attraction that is hard to ignore.
Photo: a modified version of the back cover photo from Chimera.
The artist Alexander Hahn recently opened at exhibition entitled All the World’s a Stage at the Kunstraum Oktogon in Bern. It was a chance to catch up with artist after twenty five years. I wrote several articles about his work in the early 90s. I have include photos of two of these and a series of photos of the exhibition on the Artworks site.
Appropriate that today, of all days, my birthday, I should pass the 100’000 word mark with my new novel, Chimera. The hundred thousandth word? Escape. Not sure that is significant… Pleased all the same. Things are moving forward well and the end is slowly taking shape, although much could still shape the outcome.
Update: One week later and there are already over 110’000 words on the counter and the story is hurrying to its conclusion which still remains largely hidden round a bend in the road.
Chimera is the title of my latest novel of which I have written over 110’000 words, that’s well over three quarters of the book. Here is the beginning of a teaser about Chimera:
Sam is twelve. He lives with his father, Jon. When he was little, his mother was shot by a sniper as she tended victims of a plague that carried off over half the population. Son and father live in a protected enclave in a city laid waste by the riots that followed the Disaster. Jon does his utmost to avoid the dreaded food police. Food police? Those who ensure that people eat only the synthetic food sold by the governing pharmaceutical industry and execute any who try to grow or consume natural food. They root out and eliminate anyone who practices healing or alternative medicine. They are constantly on the look out for those who oppose the regime or who are sick or abnormal. There lies Jon’s main worry. Sam is far from normal… (Read on)
See the new gallery of illustrated definitions from the Re-définitions exhibition that took place late August – early September 2015 in the BLS railway station of Saint-Blaise, Switzerland. The idea was to rethink the definition of a number of lesser-known French words in the hope of sparking off the imagination. English translations are available.
I continue preparing my definitions for next week’s exhibition entitled Re-Définitions. A bit late you might say, but in parallel I am writing on average a new chapter of my book every day. ‘Tschatcher’ (not a hundred percent sure of the spelling) is derogative slang for chattering. Here the revised definition reads: The work consisting of weaving together fig leaves to make your self watertight. Where in hell did I drag up that idea, you might be wondering. The word suggested ‘thatching’, which was my starting point.
Here’s my project for a poster for an exhibition I will be doing as part of a week about words and their use held in my village, Saint-Blaise organised by a group called MilleFeuilles. The exhibition is entitled Re-definitions, the subtitle roughly translates states: Free up words so that ideas can flow. The exhibition will be in the windows of a disused shop in one of the two railway stations in Saint-Blaise.
The idea of my exhibition is to suggest new definitions for words inspired by their sounds or parts of the words. It has been done before by people like Douglas Adams and John Lloyd in The Meaning of Liff. If all goes well I will publish a gallery of the illustrated definitions after the event.