nifty title, dammit.
After getting permission from Alan Dean Foster, I shall write my next novel: ALIEN NATION. It opens with a boy, thirteen maybe, contemplating his reflection in the bedroom mirror. It’s early. His favorite song, Traffic’s The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, plays in the background.
He’s a scrawny kid with dyed jet black hair, blue eyes ringed by black eyeliner and mascara, wearing skivvies and a white tank top. The kid is holding a gun to his head. What’s the alternative? If there is one, he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t fit in so he’s checking out.
As a writer, I can relate in that writing is, by default, a solitary thing, an alienating thing, and yet we’re trying to find our way, navigate through, make our mark. We’re searching for our proper place. We want to be accepted. Respected. We want to matter to somebody.
A lot of somebodies.
I started a thread relative to that on aye-dub, last year was it? It’s been an issue with me since pretty much always. You put yourself out there, put yourself out there and then you wait. Hoping somebody responds. Talking as a writer now, hoping somebody reads the damn thing and when you’re met with silence, you start wondering, What the hell, man? Is anybody reading my shit? Does anybody even give a shit?
The stuff I write doesn’t quite fit the “norm,” if there is such a thing. Maybe not, but that’s been the general consensus from people who’ve read my novels. Thinking about CHERRY now, I have to believe there’s a place for it, an audience for it. Best case scenario: it transcends arbitrarily-ascribed perameters (whatever they are); touches a nerve, finds an audience which enthusiastically responds to the novel, proving its viability/validity/value, which means, (extrapolating) that what I wrote actually matters; (further extrapolating) meaning, by default, that I actually matter.
Is that selfish? I dunno, ask that boy.
Never mind. The question was rhetorical and anyway, what did I write in that AW thread? This is me doubting myself, which is something I have done consistently, which is self-defeating and ridiculous. Not in Courier, of course. That’s just wrong. My point is, writing, like living, is often a solitary endeavor. The very act of writing alienates us from our intended audience. What’s the alternative?
Don’t answer that.