Published On: July 18, 2010
The above photo is notable for several reasons:
1. It is photographic evidence of me wearing pants on a weekend
2. Despite having been out of the Army for six years now, I still haven’t found t-shirts more comfortable than Army issue brown tees.
3. Yes, I have the gall to hang a Doves’ Some Cities poster next to a Toulouse-Latrec print.
Oh, and that manuscript in my hand? That’s a large chunk of Project Kingdom. For those of you keeping score at home, I am currently halfway through Chapter 29 out of an outlined 40, and sitting pretty at 77,000 words written.
Formatted for editing – double-spaced 12 point Courier New – I realized that I have given birth to a doorstop. The beast is closing in on 400 pages and tips the scale at more than five pounds.
All of these details, rendered in physical form, amaze me due to one very large fact. I cannot remember starting Kingdom. It has sat dormant for the better part of the last two or three months. I like to think that those months was a period of glorious gestation, where I was somehow becoming a better writer and doing things that will better Kingdom, but honestly? If there was a Manuscript Protective Service, they would have placed Kingdom with a loving foster novelist ages ago.
Kingdom’s a survivor, though. She’s moved computers at least twice. Moved apartments. Out lasted a couple of girlfriends. I’m pretty sure that when I started Kingdom I had both a functional car and television. Hell, the beast has killed a printer and untold ink cartridges.
The index cards used for pre-writing that hang above my desk have yellowed from cigarette smoke. And I don’t even want to think about how many bottles of booze have been sacrificed to Kingdom.
Put to the question, I’d estimate that I started writing Kingdom sometime around spring 2009, but I wouldn’t swear by that.
But now, as I wait for the house to cool, and think about lining my stomach before I start throwing bourbon at it, the end feels so close. If I can crank out a measly 5000 words a week, I can wrap the first draft before September. Then, it’ll just be several hellish months of editing. But at least I’ll be able to hold the entire thing.
And after the last couple weeks, that’s damn huge.