revolving door, evolving life

My book has been released. Emotionally, the timing is… ironic? Happiness colliding with great sadness over the loss of my mother, and the ensuing aftermath.

But I’m going to switch gears and talk about my book, because it is a source of joy for me, and I don’t want to completely lose sight of that.

The story is called Revolving Door, and has a bit of a scandalous origin. I don’t know about other writers, but I most want to write when it is least convenient for me to sit down and tap at the computer. If I’m honest, I think that’s partially due to a desire to avoid whatever it is that I’m occupied with at the time, because lets face it, writing is more fun and fulfilling than practically any other activity in my daily life. Certainly better than working, and it was at work that the need to write overtook me to the extent that I just had to set all else aside and go with it.

I began with nothing more than the desire to do a stream of consciousness sort of thing involving a man’s encounter with an ex. There are times when the words flow through my mind so quickly that I can hardly type fast enough to get them all down – that’s how it was in writing Revolving Door. It’s a sensation more than an effort, hard to explain, but I’ll say it’s like watching the story unfold rather than creating it, and I’m just as curious to find out where it’s going as I am when I’m engrossed in another author’s work. I watched the characters of Matt and Leo come to life, and tell me their story.

The names I choose for my characters are often a reflection the person’s general characteristics. Leo is a lion, bold and strutting his stuff, knowing he’s the king of the wilderness and unwilling to bow to anyone else’s needs, other than his own. And Matt – well, he’s that matt at front of his door, welcoming Leo with hospitable surrender to his entry, even as he tries to deny his own need. But he’s not a chump – he’s well aware of what he’s doing when he lets Leo in again and again. They’re both willing partners in their incessant mating dance.

What happens after the door closes on their encounter is up for debate. I don’t know – they didn’t take me that far. I have my guesses, but they’re no more valid than anyone else’s conclusions, and for me, that’s part of the fun. I know some find it a frustration when things are left unresolved, but life is like that, really. How much is ever truly resolved between people? It’s that lingering need for another step toward some form of action that draws Matt and Leo together into another encounter, and another, and another. Perhaps eventually something will happen to push them into action, perhaps not. I’m not even sure if they care, or truly want a resolution. They want one another in the moment, and that’s enough.

I’m anxious to see how Revolving Door does – will it be noticed? Will it be enjoyed, will it be accepted, will it survive the scrutiny? Or horror of horrors, will it be met with silence.

The final editing process meshed with the death of my mother, I was elsewhere in mind and body and didn’t have the experience of excitement, anticipation, attentiveness to every little detail as it hit the front page at MLR Press. I’m focused on pulling myself through the worst blow to my emotional being that I’ve ever experienced. Whatever reception Revolving Door gets, the reality is that it’s hardly consequential. And perhaps that’s the best way to approach the publication of my first story. My emotional survival isn’t tied to praise or panning of this story. I love it, I loved creating it, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you. And that is enough.

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