Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the road again: Portland, day 2

At the close of a long meeting today, a client colleague who is also a reader of my novels asked, "How's the fourth book coming?"

I answered honestly, probably too honestly, "It's kicking my ass."

This caused him to ask whether I would finish the book.

His question was very fair, but the thought that I might not finish the novel has never crossed my mind as a serious option. Whatever it costs me, unless I die first (which I most certainly hope does not happen), I will finish it. That it has proven to be a harder book than I ever anticipated speaks more to my own failure to understand the task than to whether I'll finish it. One lesson the bad parts of my childhood taught me well is that no matter how big the job, if you keep at it, eventually you'll finish it. So, I keep at it.

Last night's writing session, though far later than I would have liked, was actually quite a good one. I'm not sure if anyone else in the world will get or like Children No More, but I am now confident that at least I will be glad I have written it. Whether I'll think it's weak or strong when I finish it and start the second pass remains to be seen, but at least at times, such as last night, I end a writing session feeling I've done a few good bits.

Dinner tonight was at Paley's Place, a restaurant where I've enjoyed many good meals but one that has never, in my opinion, quite lived up to its reputation. Until tonight. Each of the dishes we sampled hit their targets, and the portion sizes were just right. My favorite was the rabbit ravioli with house-made bacon. Everything about it was spot on, with the sauce good enough that I would have happily eaten a small cup of it as a very rich soup.

If Paley's were a stock, I'd be upping my rating on it to Buy, so check it out if you're in Portland.


J. Griffin Barber said...

Keep hammering away. Wring the white from each page.

I think you'll find some answers to some questions you hadn't thought to ask by the time you are done with it.

If delving into the deeply personal issues were easy, humanity would have already ascended to some higher level of conciousness.

Instead; we live, we toil.

Good on you for delving.

Mark said...

Griffin, thanks for the kind words. I'm on it.


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