...I'm only a month or three late getting this knocked out, but was finally able to pen the acknowledgment for "Charm." It's getting posted in hopes of receiving critiques and insight before I ship it to David.
:The thing about writing a story of significant length that some fail to consider, is that one must be comfortable in their solitude in order to succeed. Penning the next Pulitzer while changing Junior's diapers in one hand, and programming that new Blackberry with the other, more times than not, breeds disappointment. Despite being surrounded with such modern conveniences as high-speed internet, and GPS directions with the push of a button, when writing, there's simply no substitute for peace and quiet.
Which was why, shortly following the collapse of our economy, when the career I'd grudgingly stumbled upon, reared its ugly head and offered me a set of fangs, it was my wife who set me on course.
She sat me down in front of the computer and said, "It's time. Write the book."
In the second Rocky movie, the one where Balboa's maimed form somehow manages to find a second's worth of equilibrium as the referee finishes his ten-count, thus securing the heavyweight championship, there's an earlier scene I thought of while offering my wife a nod, my heart's pace quickening.
Long story short, when Rocky's wife, Adrian, drifts into a coma following the birth of their son, then awakens several days later and stares into her husband's eyes with a gleam very unlike Talia Shire's character, Rocky asks her if she would prefer him to retire rather than fight Apollo Creed.
From her hospital bed, newborn baby cradled in her arms, Adrian says, "There's one thing I want you to do for me."
Rocky asks, "What's that?"
"Win," she says. "Win!"
Despite sharing duties in the upbringing of our children, while generating enough funds to maintain a thumbs up from our creditors, I completed the book. But not without help. For there is no novel on earth where the writer can take sole credit.
I would like to thank Pam Vogt and Sandy Clifton for their thoughts and continued support throughout the reading and editing process. To the staff at The Wooster Book Company for their undying loyalty. To David Wiesenberg, whose tutoring and creative insight can only be described as priceless. I fear the thought of undergoing such a task without him by my side. A special shout out to my internet colleagues and the readers of my blog, whose critiques and support have been an overwhelming gesture. A nationwide family of writers, each of us holding hands and striving forward, one word at a time. To my children, whose many ideas on the life of Danny Kaufman I often encouraged, for who could possibly know the mindset of a ten year old boy more than a kid of the same age? My oldest son has requested the first copy. I'm more than happy to abide.
And of course to my wife, whose patience throughout the writing of "Charm" was an effort surpassing any favor I've ever asked of her. For the only job more frustrating than that of a writer, may in fact be a writer's significant other. I'm forever grateful...
"South of Charm" has been edited a fourth time, trimmed down a bit, its waistline now a bit roomier. I'm anxious to move forward, but hesitant of the final product. Is it ready? How does anyone ever know for sure?
These are questions I asked David, my editor. His response was simple. "When a story reads the way life travels...sometimes smooth, often a bit rough, at times twisting and winding with an unknowing future around the bend...then you've got it. Then it's ready."
I finished reading it again. This was the seventh or eighth time. There'll be at least one more. It's close. So close, but...
Thanks for reading,