Monday, December 6, 2010

A Man With A Plan

I'm taking an extended break from working on the book. Between the holidays and end-of-year deadlines at work, time is in short supply. I'll have plenty of time for writing after Christmas. Besides, the last break from the book did me a world of good.

Earlier this year I met someone we'll call Mr. Ego. After we met he had his people send me his self-published autobiography. I found it in the bottom of the box that arrived in my office along with a t-shirt, custom-made chocolate chip cookies and a baseball cap--all bearing his personal logo.

Considering he's probably the best-looking man I've ever met in person, I was interested in his story. Even with the cookies, the book was a bit more Mr. Ego than I could stomach. The pages quickly grew too heavy to turn.

Mr. Ego's book weighs heavy on my mind lately. A dozen readers (including several of you) have graciously volunteered to read an unfinished draft. In some cases, that's volunteered with air quotes around it. I literally can't wait to hear from them.

I fear the worst. Is the manuscript so boring that reading it is a chore rather than a pleasure? That anyone might perceive my book the way I saw Mr. Ego's book keeps me awake at night.

Writing a memoir is certainly the most self-indulgent thing I've ever done. I can't think of a topic that interests me more than myself. Writing about me is fun and exceedingly interesting. The trick is to make it interesting to other people.

Seeing Mr. Ego's book and reacting to it as I did definitely influenced my approach. Tooting my own horn is not allowed. The book isn't about me so much as my experience growing up gay before it was cool to even have gay friends.

Early feedback has been positive. The first person in the book to read it keeps bugging me for additional chapters--and I love him for it. Though somewhat biased, my biggest fan and supporter loves it, too. So far, so good. I just need to be patient.

If you're still looking for gift ideas, author and Yale Theology Professor Carlos Eire has been on the radio lately talking about his new book, "Learning to Die in Miami". He won the 2003 National Book Award for nonfiction for his memoir, "Waiting for Snow in Havana." The new book is a sequel.

What? I thought writing one memoir was self-serving. It never even occurred to me a person could write two memoirs. Now that it has, I'm intrigued!

Shoot, why stop at a sequel? I'm young enough for a trilogy. The first volume would be Glass Houses. I just need to figure out how to end it. The second has to be Shattered Glasses. The third would be a broader reflection on my life as a whole. Guess I'd have to call it The Making of...

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

CathyB said...

Or you could call your final book of the Trilogy "Throwing Stones"...

I haven't gotten any further in your book yet. I have it saved on my desktop for quick access. I swear, the days just get shorter each week, and I am so slammed with work. I will be happy about that when payday arrives, but my largest private account is paid through the gvt, so it takes a few weeks for that $ to find its way to me. At any rate, I look forward to reading the rest of your book, and thank you again, for sending it to me. I haven't touched mine in ages. I have one really great "fan" who keeps harping on me to get it done, 1) because he has read it and wants to know what happens, and 2) he honestly believes in me, and in my *story*. Maybe after the first of the year things will settle down and we can both get busy again. If you haven't yet spoken with a publisher, check out AuthorHouse. I forwarded an e-mail from them so you can check them out if you want. hope you continue to enjoy the holidays! cathyb

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