Saturday, November 12, 2011

nobody makes hair shirts nowadays (part one)


I sent my completed revision for Passenger in yesterday.

You know. Passenger is the sequel to The Marbury Lens.

I did it just because I could. The "dream" deadline was today, but I beat it, like I always do, so felt compelled to send it in on Sunday (when nobody is ever home to notice, anyway).

I rearranged some of the furniture in there. Made some parts creepier, and some parts sadder, too. I deleted an entire chapter (and no, I will not tell you what happened in it), and, in the end, the thing came out... longer. I think.

536 pages, nearly 120,000 words.

Nobody ever told me it was too long.

Readers have been asking for more. I gave them more.

I am selfless like that.

A couple days ago, I got mentioned in a Tweet, which, naturally, happened on Twitter, which is the only place I ever get mentioned in Tweets.

My aunt in Italy had a mynah bird when I was growing up. His name was Beo. He was the creepiest, smartest bird I ever saw.

Anyway, back to Twitter, where a friend named Rachael said (her exact tweet):

LOVED Marbury Lens! Curious if you have ever written a post about male sexuality in it, because I found that aspect intriguing.

Hmm... First off, I like to write blog posts in response to specific questions from readers. So I tweeted back and forth a few times to Rachael because I was trying to wrap my head around this concept of writing about male sexuality in The Marbury Lens.

Um. Here goes:

There is this Zen parable that I am especially fond of. I tell it over and over because it's kind of a pivot point to my life. It goes something like this:

Two fish are swimming along beside one another. One fish turns to the other and says, "So, tell me about this water stuff I keep hearing about."

That is the story.

Good, wasn't it?

Now I suppose I should explain.

One of my respondo-tweets to Rachael said something like (and I will not abbreviate for the sake of character limits):

You can't honestly write what people are going to call "Young" + "Adult" and NOT include some element of sexuality. If you try to do that, you are really just writing Middle Grade (a bizarre and twisted, asexual universe in which, my dear friend Michael Grant points out, nobody ever says "fuck" -- what a Marbury that shithole is...) with numerically aged characters.

This post is going to turn out to be quite long.

I'll leave you with that initial thought, as well as the story of the fish, and will continue with a discussion about male sexuality in my book(s) tomorrow.

Swim in peace.