Although I still publish short stories, I have completed a novel and begun another. The first one, Dogs Don't Cook, takes place along Seattle streets in 1995. Hatch, a fifty-year-old Marine vet, claws his way to sobriety for life as a painter, one brushstroke at a time, while his invisible dog, Bud, trots behind. Presently, I am searching for representation for this novel.
The second book is in the early stages and untitled. In the psych ward of a hospital, a suicidal girl of 21 meets another patient, an old Army chaplain, who is as broken as she is. The plot develops as their friendship grows.
I hesitated to write a novel, having grown comfortable with the short story. The exciting part of novel writing is watching the plot develop as the characters decide what they're going to do, independent of the narrator. I sit back and let them run the show. I'm not sure what's happening next, and that motivates me to continue.
In short stories, I have a basic idea of what's ahead. Novels are a very different experience for me. My patience is strained, I' have my share of meltdowns, but haven't ever thrown in the towel. Curiosity keeps my interest and withstands my frustration when things are not going well.
On this blog, I want to keep a record of how this second novel is proceeding, so stay tuned as I endure the process.