My resolution each year is to write every day but Sunday and for the past God knows how many years I have kept it pretty much but not this year because I picked up the flu sometime after Christmas and I have not felt much like existing, never mind writing. So this is the first writing of the year. I went to the doctor the other day to see if I were in any danger because you hear all these stories, guy thinks he has flu but really has rare syndrome that fills lungs with taffy-like substance, but it turns out it was just the usual crud.
But it also turns out to be enough to sap every bit of energy, and the book just sits there, the pixies have not come in during the night and written it for me, although I leave bowls of milk out. I guess I have not added anything to it in a month or so, very unusual for me, so perhaps I am changing or it's that I am tired, 24 novels in 26 years is a lot of writing, and a month or so off is not going to earn me the name of poseur. (And isn't it strange that the first thing a stranger will say after you announce you are a novelist is, have you been published? Maybe surgeons get this too, and cops. Ever do an operation? Ever arrest someone? It's a funny business, the novel, even the commercial novel.)
Unless this is the start of the slow slide into desuetude and silence. We will have to see about that. People write to me and say things like I've read all your novels three times already when are you going to publish another one? The answer is August of this year, a novel called THE RETURN. It's a pure thriller about a couple of Vietnam war buddies who go on a road trip to Mexico and get involved in a drug gang war there, or at least that's the outer layer, but as with a lot of the stuff I write the fairly conventional plot is just the vehicle for other stuff. And also I was contracted to write a thriller and it is a thriller, with gunfights, car chases, romances and explosions, not to mention the other stuff, which you get for free when you buy the thriller..
The book that's on the machine now is not a thriller, but a historical novel about events that happened in Prague over 150 years ago. It has an odd origin story that will have to wait for the next post.
But now I can say I wrote something in 2013. (And by the way, how can it be 2013? It is unfair for to anyone who grew up read science-fiction in the late 50s and 60s for 2013 to be like this. ). This is enough, I guess. I am sick and irritable and I actually yelled at the dog today who was doing nothing but lying down across a doorway while I was carrying dirty dishes, which he always does because once upon a glorious day I tripped over him while doing so, thus spilling slop on the floor, which he got to lick up. He is ever hopeful of it happening again, as I am of writing this novel. Happy New Year.