endings. we crave them in their myraid forms: happy, sad, confusing, weird, bewildering, or whatever other color or shade you prefer. as an advisor told me recently about my own book ending, “you didn’t stick the landing.” not what i wanted to hear after all the work i’ve put into the project, but in truth, i knew. yes, i knew i’d chickened out on the ending, fearful of writing something approaching a truth, petrified of forcing myself to face the demons, rather than run away from them, as is my pattern.
so, back to the draft i went, armed with the knowledge i stumbled first time around. those damn perpendicular bars, man. i tell you… making bad situations worse might be the answer for me. that’s where i’ve directed my compass, down that unlikely quadrant where expectations are not met, divisions are not repaired, facts are not faced, and the truth is not something that my character wants to hear. that’ll teach him, i say. instead of allowing him the easy way out, the open stable door, i’ve blocked his path, waved my arms in the way, and forced him to turn around and stare down the barrel of the gun he fears most. i have no idea if this is working or not. does it matter?
i talked to mo about it today, my book. surprisingly, i was able to tell her what it was about. funny that what i once thought it was about back in the beginning, is now nothing at all like what it’s actually about today. should i be surprised? supposedly not. my relief is that my book is about something at all. when the dog stirs at the foot of the bed at three in the morning and i groggily open one eye i can see the fear hovering over my prone body. at least it’s about something. great expectations, indeed.
somehow the question of setting a high bar came up in conversation and i know the bar i set for myself is high, too high for my meager talents, yet i strive to touch that far-off bar with my fingertips. if i can write one sentence, just one, that reaches that bar, then i have made some progress, achieved some success. worst case scenario? the book will tell a story that someone will read and have a response to, one way or the other. love it, hate it, agree or disagree with it, i don’t care too much. but as long as there’s a response to it… bar reached.