Them’s Dreary Devils

The temptation to begin a new project is overpowering.

Invention is an illusion, though, no lullaby to soothe the demons stirring in my heart and in other places, too. My toes and hips and lips are fired with them, ineffectual, pinching and pricking and waving shrimp forks at every sentence I’ve written. More for the ones I don’t.

A friend asked when I finished the last draft of my first novel if I felt I had gotten it out of my system, that now that I had written a book I could get on living, or if this was how I wanted in fact to make my living. I told him I had more ideas than I will ever have time to write, and I think I’d like to die clutching stubborn to whatever implement is best favored by writers when I’m in my hundred-and-nineties. Children will fear me, especially mine, because they’ll know they’ve never been enough to keep me happy.

I don’t have any children, of course, so I can’t know. But I haven’t got any published books, either, and that doesn’t stop me. From anything.

Except telling myself that no, I’ll finish what I’ve started.

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