So, I ‘m not really one to snap a pic of my food (unless it’s Whataburger) (but even then I usually just do the receipt, or the wrappers), but if I’m at The World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill at 3:15 in an otherwise normal afternoon, ordering fried zucchini:
Then that can pretty much only mean one thing: finished another novel. Which, I DID just type ‘wrapped’ another novel in there, but, do you ever really ‘wrap’ a novel? I don’t know. I mean, they get published, you can’t mess with them anymore, but I’m not sure you’re ever actually done with them. Just, at some point you’ve walked away from them.
Too, talking Dark Horse, they have the single most confusing restroom door situation of any place I’ve ever been:
And, no, I didn’t snap that pic myself, just scooped it up online. I don’t, like, NEED to be the dude taking pictures outside the restrooms, I don’t think.
Anyway, the novel’s far and away the bloodiest, most brutal thing I’ve ever done, even including The Least of My Scars. But? Not horror, either. Here’s one stack of the many books I had to use for research:
As for the title . . . I just said it in the afterword for a critical book (on HBO’s Westworld), and I said there that’s the first place I’d said the title out loud, but now I’m realizing that that book’s not out for at least a year, probably two. So, I’m going to have definitely said this book’s title at some point before then. Guess I’ll say it now, too:
Last Stand at Saber Ridge
It’s fun to be big and dramatic like that. But, I mean, if you’re going to be dramatic, why not go all the way, right?
And, speaking of marquees as I guess we are now, ‘we’ being ‘me,’ one of the first songs I ever remember hearing was, of course, Waylon’s “Luchenbach, Texas,” and for the longest time I thought he was talking about “marky” lights, as in, lights that are big and bright like magic markers are big and bright. I was probably in college before I was disabused of this.
ANYWAY, this novel. Started it three or four days into January, so, yeah, took like an age to write it, feels like. But I had a lot of stuff to do while writing it: write a keynote, write that afterword, write a short story twice (since the first way I wrote it didn’t work, so I changed the premise), write a segment of an anthology film, and write a novella I guess I forget to ever mention in here, Night of the Mannequins (slasher, the way a slasher’s never been). And also teach a couple courses, try to keep up with my World Fantasy Award reading (some AMAZING stuff), and, you know: life.
But I’m still not describing it. So, Last Stand . . . it’s very Ledfeather, very The Bird is Gone, but it’s also Elk Head Woman, which is another novel I wrote recently, that’s useless as a comp title since nobody’s read it yet (but wait). And it’s a lot more science fiction than anything else I’ve done (in a novel). And, yeah, I suspect the title comes from a certain Tom Selleck movie:
Anyway, some 70K words for the moment (currently revising). And, actually finished it 12:15 or so in the morning two nights ago, but am just remembering to say something about it on this “blizzard conditions” snow day here in Boulder. Hopefully it’ll be hitting a shelf near you at some point in the crazy future.
And, I guess, for the last ten or eleven months, this is maybe the fourth novel I’ve written? Probably not the last for this year, but, really, I have two novels I need-need-need to rehab (neither are the previous three), get working like I know they can since they’re so close to my heart I think they might actually BE my heart, so, who knows, might just end up fixing them for the next few months. Never can tell until you’re in the midst of it all. Anyway, best get to it. Luck to you and yours.
( which is how I sign off when I feel like I just sat down in 1894 and wrote a letter by candlelight at an old small polished-bright desk )