I imagine that some of you are wondering how things are going on the book right now. I have to say that I made a lot of progress today--16,000 words worth of final rewrite. I've been stuck trying to figure out the perfect endings for the first two Margee and Jerry stories and I have finally got something I can live with. I still have to do the rewrites for the Heinlein Centennial, my futurist posts, and the two Titan stories (one of which is a short-short). I figure that if I keep going at this rate, I should be ready for the final pre-book readthrough around the end of the first week in June.
I have a new short-story (Ed Morgan's Ride) finished and I think that I am going to include it in the book, since it's in the Iona universe that the M&J stories are in. It's better than the third M&J story so may substitute it. In any case, writing it did interesting things to me.
I started the story writing about someone else, and somewhere in the first third, it became about me. I've spent a lot of my life dealing with the results of being an alcoholic--I've had to wall up an entire side of my life, keeping my good angel as my advisor and imprisoning my bad angel.
All that changed while I was writing the story. I needed the feelings, the desires, the hopes of the bad angel. I fought hard and long trying just to sit with him in the visitor's center in my brain, discussing all of this through the bullet-proof glass, without having to invite him back into my life. Finally, I realized that the story would never be finished without him, so I let him out.
He changed me when he integrated back. My obsession with sameness and safety shrank. I remembered what it was like to take risks when the prize was worth it, so I did. I told a truth to someone despite the fact that doing so would make me more vulnerable than I had been, perhaps ever. I was rewarded for doing so more than I ever hoped or dreamed and got something beautiful and precious that will last me for the rest of my lifetime.
I had a conversation last week about my angels. The woman I was talking to asked me, " of all the relationships that you've ever had that have ended well, what incited them, the good or the bad in you?"
I was taken aback for a moment, never having considered the question. I looked back on my life and realized that the good angel had always been in the wings, watching and waiting for women who needed help, who needed saving, who became projects that would be able to live better lives if I were to help them--they just needed my sacrifice.
Not one of those relationships ever turned out good for me. Time and again, I would help my projects to get back on their feet, to overcome their obstacles, to finally become the person that they wanted to be. Each time that worked, I watched them go off into the sunset with the man they found after I was done with them. Each time.
The good relationships, the ones that lasted, were never based upon such things.
I looked over at my good angel, who was trying to seem innocent. "Is that the case?" I said. The good angel smiled and said something about virtue being its own reward.
Fuck that. It's time for the bad angel to come back. I have time left, I need to pursue the things that I still want, the people that I need, the life and love that I desire. Nothing that I fear is strong enough to kill me. If I must wait for something, the gamble of waiting is worth the chance of the payoff.
I am alive. I know this because I can be hurt. I had forgotten how important that was.