Saturday, April 20, 2019

Consuming Art, Making Do

When my energy is low for writing, my secret is to consume art. Any kind will do. A gallery or a museum. A movie, old or new. A performance. Live music. Those make me want to write because experiencing other works by other artists, struggling or otherwise, gives me hope and inspiration.

Television, the cable version, doesn't. I don't even have cable (to my family's chagrin).

This is my first post of 2019 because I took the month of January to finish the draft of my last Musketeer book. Then, it took about two months to prepare it for publication. It had been hanging over me for more than a year. I'd drafted most of it in 2017 during National Novel Writing Month, then didn't pick it up again until late last year. I kept telling myself: "It will only take a few weeks to get 'er done." The ending foiled me. Nothing seemed to click, and I finally decided it just had to be over. Someone had to die, and it couldn't be the main character (because, well, Dumas kept writing about Athos after the time period in which I placed him). I found this book to be the most difficult to write because the ending just never naturally showed up like the previous two books. The options were many and my decisiveness, missing.

I'm not necessarily unhappy with the story. The last book wraps up the loose ends to my satisfaction. However, there's no sex in it, probably a big downer to readers of the first two novels. Brace yourself. It's just about a big, redemptive sword fight (no puns).

Another issue bothers me: the  first book in the series isn't widely available. On Amazon, the prices of Book One (Blood, Love and Steel) are astronomical. That's because the book is not available unless purchased as a used copy, and the secondary vendors have jacked the price. However, my shelves are flush if you want a copy. Not much I can do for the random shopper.

All this is to say, I'm making do. I'm relieved the last book is finished. The story stands on it own. It's a nice tribute to the original Dumas novel. There were a lot of days when I went looking for art to get me off my duff to finish the series and keep my head full of hope. All the other artists who piece it together gave me reasons to go on. Making art is a joy and sometimes a burden. It will fulfill you and make you frustrated. Do it anyway.