a big bowl o’ boys

So I could make some disgusted comment about the whole Michael Jackson thing — about how the only people likely to subject their young son to a suspected pedophile would be those of questionable sanity and dubious motive, exactly the kind of people who are unlikely to come off as credible witnesses in a court of law. I wrote an entire horror novel that contains nothing as icky or creepy as what transpired inside and beyond that California courtroom.

But I’ll highlight other things instead, leaving aside icky for the fuzzy and sentimental:

My son Griffin took his first two steps today. He’s no longer doing his Daffy Duck voice, but is back to making these birdlike trills at the back of his throat. Rather pretty, and if you were outside in the yard you would swear it was some little winged creature claiming its territory, perhaps, or calling for a mate. His twin brother, Xavier, is exploring the many different uses of the syllable “Aye!” or, sometimes, a more breathy “Hai!” He’s made it into a multipurpose word of greeting and general happiness and excitement. (He sees you come into the nursery in the morning. “Hai! Hai!” He is carried downstairs to his walker and his toys. “Hai!” He gets a handful of Cheerios to play with and eat. “Aye!” He’s unleashed in the living room to cruise around the big coffee table. “Aye! Hai! Aye!” And so on. He’s a happy kid, knock wood).

I finished the draft of STRANGER, my YA novel that’s been plaguing me for months. It even came out at the right length — 50,000 words. I’m going to make one pass through it to tighten and clarify, and then I’ll start exposing it to a careful assortment of people for the first round of criticism and general feedback.

What this means, though, is that STRANGER has lifted off my back enough so that I can start working seriously on the book (still UNTITLED) that I probably should have been working on all along. Except it wasn’t developed enough in my head; parts of the structure still needed to flesh themselves into being. Now, if anything, UNTITLED (I completed a scanty and highly unsatisfying first draft of it about a year ago) has developed to the point where it feels too full, too messy; I’m going to have to streamline and organize the story in my head in order to start dealing with the story on paper.

So I shall outline like mad, and then buckle down, buckle down, buckle down. That is the plan.


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