Today the galley copies of Some Way Outa Here arrived. These are actual books that I’ll use to proofread and double-check for errors. Also, a few will go out to reviewers. It’s pretty cool to hold a book in your hand after so much work on a computer.
My book, Some Way Outa Here is in the last phases of editing, and should be available soon. It’s been a long, strange trip, as they used to say.
I started writing the book in the summer of 2014, got off to a rapid start, and kept at it even while the demands of my day job increased. Herein lies the secret to writing: I wanted to see what happened next. That may seem like a strange thing to say about a memoirish book. But I found my own story suspenseful, for two reasons.
First, there are holes in my memory (has anyone else experienced this?) that have to be filled to tell a story. Filling the holes has to be done faithfully to the story and the characters – especially when the characters are real people. So figuring out what people said and did (or would have said and did) is a constant act of discovery.
I was delighted to discover that the process of writing about long-forgotten events seems to uncover them: The more I wrote, the more I remembered. Sometimes memories resurfaced as I wrote, a sort of “just in time” experience. It was exciting, and I often got lost in the thrill of rediscovery.
Second, I had to discover how the story ended, just like a reader. Sure, I knew what the actual events were going to be – I lived them. But I was searching for the bows and ribbons that tied everything together and gave it all meaning. I had to learn how the various events of a year were connected. I talked to people I hadn’t seen in decades, and the threads began to connect. That’s the exciting thing about writing a story: weaving the threads together so that in the end, they add up to something important.
So when I got to the end, I was as excited as any reader would be to see how it all came together. I wasn’t disappointed. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.