That’s when the next manuscript workshop begins. I am determined to be ready for it, though the past two weeks or so have been bad for TJAP in nearly every possible way: houseguests, illness in the family, reading of unrelated books (mainly Skippy Dies, which was fantastic! but so off the topic, except to the extent that it also involves time travel, or at least the idea of time travel, as a vehicle for longing).
Nonethless. When I finally went back to my manuscript after a nearly two-week hiatus, I was pleasantly surprised that my initial impression was that it was sort of enjoyable to read. This was much more than I dared to hope. All I could have hoped for actually. One thing that no one really talks about in novel-writing is the challenge of creating suspense when for you, the creator and first reader, there can by definition be none. Well. The suspense of whether you will ever finish. I guess there is that.
Walking home from the dog park with Olive, I saw Liam recently. That is to say, the walking, breathing image of how I imagined in my mind Liam, the character, should look. He was walking his little son — or somebody’s son, I assume his own — to school. I tried not to stare, but it was hard — I had only a few seconds as we passed to try to memorize everything about his appearance and manner. The one time I saw “Rachel,” she was riding across from me on the subway, and I had a good while to discreetly study her.
The curious thing was, he did not look quite like I thought I had imagined Liam looking, but when I saw him, I knew at once it was him. It seemed a favorable omen, a gift from the writing gods, and I was filled with hope for the rest of the week.