I am standing on the threshold of the first draft of my second novel (the first, an oddly funny story about a midget stuntman, remains unpublished--and perhaps unpublishable).
I am days away from typing the final period of Fobbit: A Novel. I am, it goes without saying, a-tremble. Sweat drips unbidden, the brow furrows. I wallow in dreams of Mailer, Updike, and Dickens, wondering how the hell they ever managed it with such finesse. Since March 7, 2006, I have come 196,335 words on this personal journey and, at this point, believe I have only another 10,000 to go--maybe more, maybe less, depending on the caffeine intake.
It's been a long journey filled with ups and downs, fits and starts, depressions and elations since the day I wrote those first words:
They were Fobbits because, at the core, they were nothing but marshmallow. Crack open their chests and in the space where the heart should be beating with courage and selfless regard, you'd find a pale, gooey softness which only went a little way in explaining why they fiercely clung to their desks at Forward Operating Base Triumph. If the FOB was a mother's skirts, then they were pressed hard against the pleats.And soon, the real work begins. I must start to think about "killing my darlings."
Supply clerks, motor pool mechanics, cooks, postal workers, computer technicians, trombone players, logisticians--Fobbits, one and all. They didn't give a shit about appearances. They were all about making it out of Iraq in one piece.