SO, the book’s done.
INTERIOR: Jeff’s office. A simple wooden desk laden with pornographic magazines and old copies of Who’s Who in Baseball, some filing cabinets, a futon, a hollow-body electric guitar, four cats, and a computer.
Enter JEFF. He is wearing a soiled-looking bathrobe. His hair stands up as if superglued. He is carrying an unlabeled bottle of brown liquid. He sits down at his desk and stares blearily at the computer screen. Slowly he nods off, chin sinking to his chest. Just as the bottle slips from his slackened fingers, three uniformed Helper Monkeys appear, gather up the bottle, make sure Jeff is still breathing, and scamper off, chattering.
In other words, I always find the transition from working like mad on a novel to being done with the novel to be a tough one. I go from constantly working on a familiar and well-known piece, something I know so well I can jump to tiny details in the manuscript automatically without having to search for them, to having no big project at all.
For a few days I’ll contemplate my next step: Hire mercenaries and try to take over a small, unstable South-American country? See if I can finally gain that 150 lbs I’ve been dreaming of? Start writing that vampire-romance where pure, agape-type love cures vampirism? Begin my campaign to make public pantslessness acceptable to society?
Or, most likely: Sit around getting drunk and hate myself for wasting time? Yup. Let’s go with that.
I hate wasting time, but after a major project it takes me a few days to retread the tires and get started on something else, so for a few days all I do is waste time. So I sit around drinking cocktails and thinking, damn, I ought to be writing something. This way lies madness, of course. And cocktails.
In the mean time, in an attempt to make this dull period not completely useless, I am trying to learn the guitar solo from AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. ANGUS YOUNG WHY DO YOU MOCK ME SO! The man must have freakish hands. Freakish.