Monday, May 9, 2016

Coming Attractions: The Boy Who Drew Dirty

My wife put her hand over the mouthpiece of the phone: "Sarah's quitting her writers group and wants to know if you'd like to take her place."

Well, actually, yes.

For many years I'd a story I wanted to tell, a story which ended with the wife of the governor of Nebraska describing one of my paintings as "the dirtiest thing you ever saw." It had taken place in 1965 when I was 22 and I hoped writing a short non-fiction piece would lift the anger I still felt, more than forty years later. But within the first few pages, my enjoyment in embellishing, embroidering, and deviating from real life made me realize I was working on a piece of fiction. And something longer than I'd planned. A novel.

Years passed and I surprised myself by actually completing what at times had seemed an endless task. But what do you do with a finished novel if you're actually a painter?

If you're lucky (like me) your son marries a novelist, a kind woman who offers to read it and suggest changes, finally asking: "Why not submit an excerpt to a literary journal?"

So I get a piece of it published. In the University of Kentucky's Limestone. Entrance Exam. Which feels great.

But of course it's only human nature to want more.

This morning I awoke thinking: my blog has had over 150,000 visits, would any of those visitors find the story interesting?

Nothing attempted, nothing gained

So starting tomorrow I plan to post a chapter every few days. At least for awhile. To see what happens.

The novel's called The Boy Who Drew Dirty and I'm hoping some of you will read and enjoy it.