November 07, 2013

A Bit on the Meta Side

Whenever I dare to slide back in time and read old blog posts, I notice that often I am chasing my tail or thigh-high in deadlines or under the table babbling about how many stories I just read for a new anthology. But the thing is, I have been working steadily in this business for two decades. So I'm busy. That's how my brain functions best. (At least, that's what I tell myself.)

I tried to capture this feeling in Dark Secret Love. My new novel pushes meta writing to the limits. Seriously. In this scene I talk about trying to name my first novel Dark Secret Love:

The original title of my book was Dark Secret Love, from that Blake poem:

Oh, rose thou art sick,
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed of crimson joy
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

The book was as dark as the poem, as demon-filled.

When I finished, I went out to my favorite bar. It was four o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, my day off. I told the bartender, Jason, that I wanted a shot of tequila. He had names of all his ex-girlfriends tattooed on his biceps.

“Mmm-hmm. I finished my first novel.”
“Reading one or writing one?”
I grinned. I loved the question. Who would have a shot after finishing reading a book?                   “Writing one.”
“Then that shot’s on me,” he said, putting out a glass, a sliver of lime, and a shaker of salt.
I did the shot quickly, no accessories, and then sat there quietly as the bar filled with the pure, shimmering light of the golden hour.
Several tall, well-dressed men in their forties entered the bar. We were the only people there at this slow time before happy hour. I eavesdropped easily on their conversation.
They were cajoling one of their friends to have a drink with them. The man insisted he had to go, but finally he said, “I’ll have one if she has one with me.”

Jason sidled over to them. “She drinks tequila, straight.”

He sounded impressed, as if I looked more like someone who would celebrate big events with a milkshake.

The guys laughed, as if I’d challenged them, then bought a round. We toasted, their friend shook my hand, and then he left.

One of the men came to my side afterwards. “That was Mr. — who bought you that drink,” he said, naming a famous L.A. athlete. “You ought to remember that,” he told me. “It’s an honor.”

After they left, Jason came back to stand in front of me. “It’s an honor for them to drink with you,” he smiled. “That’s what you should have said.”


I still toast my finished projects with tequila. 


1 comment:

Miz Angell said...

Celebrations demand tequila, not champagne, in my world.

Of course, pretty much anything demands tequila. :P