So you can read my books

Monday, July 21, 2014


I am at the 60,000 word mark on

   And the silence is loud, the inertia of writing weighing down on me. 

After all this work, will anybody really WANT to read this novel?

I hear gruff words above me: 

"Tarnation, Son!  Let me tell you about two hellions who wrote ...

to each other ... and to the world at large."

It is the ghost of Mark Twain:

"Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

had a lot in common. They were both drunks ... let's not be PC about it, shall we?"

Mark wrinkled his moustache.

"They both had intense and complicated marriages. They were both deeply committed to their craft.

Most importantly, they were literary giants at a time when the Great American Novel was more than just a myth—it was a real possibility."

"I don't want to write the Great American Novel ...." I began.

Mark laughed, "Shoot for the moon, son.  Anyway, the two of them wrote to each other on how things were going for them."

The ghost of Hemingway sat down beside me, grumbling,

“Scott took LITERATURE so solemnly. He never understood that it was just writing as well as you can and finishing what you start.”

He lit up a cigar.  "You quit, kid, and I will kick your butt from here to Putin.  He loves you, don't you know?"

He shook his head. 

"I was a believer in self-discipline while Scott depended on his Muse ... and week long benders, scribbling frantically and pushing his lank blonde hair out of his eyes."

Hemingway snorted,

"Me?  I wrote like clock-work -- standing up at the typewriter, at the same time every day -- pushing through even the 'dry' days when the words came slowly."

He jabbed his cigar at me.  "In life, you are either a doer or a dreamer."

Hemingway gruffed, "You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless—

there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.”

Mark lit up his own cigar.  "Sometimes even Hemingway is right."


  1. You cannot quit, Roland. Ever. You are too good a writer.

  2. Alex:
    Thanks for saying so. Besides there is always the ghostly boot of Ernest Hemingway! :-)

  3. I want to read it, Roland, and know that it will be even better than Death in the House of Life.

    You're talking about my favorites - Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Two ways of writing, but both inspiring (I do have my faves of Hem's but I liked all of Fitzgerald's writing).

    I'm doing more driving to visit hubs than I've done in years. . .but not as much as you do.

  4. D.G.:
    I was thinking of you when I wrote this about Fitzgerald. Hearing the chapter on him from A MOVEABLE FEAST has you hurt for Scott.

    My right eye is blurring. I got new glasses but I am not adapting well to them yet.

    You be careful driving. People are crazy on the roads, not thinking defensively at all.

    If I finish, it will probably be because I know you want to read it. :-)

  5. I don't believe you can give up writing - and remain true to yourself. Being a writer is an integral part of you - one which shouldn't be denied. So, please, keep writing. And yes, add me to the list of those who will want to read it.

  6. Roland, never give up on your writing. You have so much to express and share. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, let all the words come together in your mind and finish your book.