After 18 fallow months, I spent a recent weekend sequestered and revising. I went into the weekend thinking that it would be the first of many needed in order to get my manuscript up to snuff, but then came out of the weekend with revisions nearly complete. You can read more about that process in a previous post so I’ll focus here more on a general update.
What is this novel about? Abstractly, it’s about a lot of things. More concretely, it asks the question: “how do you go on when you have done the unforgivable?” John is an orphan who misses the mother he barely knew. Robert is a privileged middle-aged man who plows his car into another and changes four lives forever.
Here’s an excerpt:
“With that the other officer picked up Robert’s laundry bag and he and Burly stepped back over the threshold and pushed the door closed. Robert heard the lock cylinders fall into place as their footsteps receded in the direction of the main facility.
He picked up his box and took out a book, then pushed the box under the bed. He might as well settle in to read. He lay down and tried to get comfortable, but the slats of the bed dug into his hips through the mattress. There was no pillow. He squirmed around for a few minutes and finally settled in on his side, with the mangy blanket folded and stuffed under his head. He tried to read but it was hard with all the noise. A man screamed gibberish nearby. Toilets flushed at regular intervals
On Nelson’s advice he had not included his Tag Heuer in his personal effects since it would have surely been pilfered. Now he wished he had bought a drugstore watch to bring with him. He had no idea what time it was. He could still see light through the window, but it had dimmed. He didn’t know if it was waning daylight or the nighttime floodlights. Time had expanded and contracted all day and he had lost objective sense of it.
Whenever he was alone, memories of that motherless little brown-haired boy pushed in. They came now, but he pushed them back out. He refused to dwell; what’s done is done. He would do his time and he would get out and his life would go on.