Blog Central: From the Desk of TL Boehm
Once again I find myself bleary eyed before the flickering screen as my fingers furiously type out random thoughts left in my brain at the end of a frenzied day. While my family members drape themselves over various living furniture and turn off their frontal lobes, I inch my face closer to the monitor as if my proximity would ignite an original thought, a bit of dialogue, a paragraph or two of narrative. Oblivious to my dilemma, the spouse makes some vague reference to “playing on the computer.”
Perhaps it is the pastime of many cyber writers frequenting the blogosphere. Those prolific souls, who effervesce poetry like carbonated fizz from a cold soda on a sweltering summer day, collect fawning readers with pages of alliteration and metaphor – heavily sprinkled with innuendo and references to bodily fluids. I too succumb to an occasional moment of posting page candy for the masses, but deep within my synapses something greater waits.
It isn’t iambic pentameter or the perfect sestina that wakes me from sleep, but characters who whisper dialogue and sweeping scenic narrative lines that demand to be written. My novels are my children. I have waited months from that spark of inception to the birth of an idea. I‘ve spent years perfecting the mix of protagonist/antagonist/conflict to grow my toddler into three or four hundred pages of carefully edited, highly polished “oh my God, I cannot put this story down” double- spaced text. For those writers brave enough to take on the daunting task of birthing and raising a literary child, the hours are long and the friends are few. While coworkers exchange tid-bits of office gossip around the lunchroom table, I scarf cold pizza at my workstation and power type before that new plot twist slips away amidst the deadlines and obligations that clutter my desk and my life.
Unlike the poetic fodder offered up on personal websites to be gobbled by voracious virtual blog groupies, acceptance for me as novelist is completely different. The joy of watching my un-reasonable manuscript morph into a masterpiece is tempered by the knowledge that I, and per-haps my test group of two or three blood relatives are the only souls who see the brilliance con-tained in my pages. For my creation, publication is the rite of passage I seek. As I send my literary offspring in emails and snail mails I find myself the accidental collector of everything from auto replies to personal rejections to the abyss of no response at all. This child I have birthed from my soul brings only pain with each perfunctory dismissal, yet I am compelled to dust her off, re-edit, re-polish, rewind and send her back off to an uncertain fate. As tempting as it often becomes to rip the monitor from its perch and hammer my hard drive until it is a pile of glittery dust, the only real failure comes in giving up on my literary child. As a parent, I must believe that she, my novel, will be the success I envision her to be.