No, not Turgenev's On The Eve, you. My own personal eve: on or near the first of March I am going to start writing another novel, Nowhere But North. I'm all a-quiver with anticipatory dread. Not that I should be, really. This will be the fifth novel I've written and a few weeks ago I bragged that if you gave me a premise--no matter what it was--I could write a novel from it (not necessarily a good novel, mind you, but the mechanics of long-form fiction are no longer a mystery to me). Perhaps one shouldn't shake one's fists at the Fates like that, for I am, honestly, afraid.
Oh, it'll all work out; it always does. The high wire act I've set before myself (the narrative will have a sort of coiling, regressive structure with interruptions; don't even ask) is only a dare to get my blood up because I can't resist a challenge and the degree of difficulty scares me but it's also going to be fun no matter how much I'll bitch about it to the unfortunate-in-advance Mighty Reader. It Will Be Fun, I tell you, and if it works, it'll be the kewlist. Do the young people still say kewl?
The delay until March is due to my having scheduled one more rewriterly run-through of the tragic novel Cocke & Bull before I send it off to patient readers including my fabulous agent. That's going to take up the remains of February and the work is, frankly, a welcome distraction from the worry over starting Nowhere But North.
Anyway, I am preparing myself psychically for beginning this new book by reading Samuel Beckett's Malloy trilogy and repeating the Burroughs mantra "Nothing is real; everything is permitted." Then, I think, once my mental loins are properly girded I'll douse myself in gin and Hemingway and Woolf and I'll seek out pen and paper. Just you wait.