Things have been wild for me lately, but I am back to pouring every spare ounce of effort into Baptism for the Dead. I'm really excited about this book and want to get it finished, revised, and turned in to my agent as soon as I can.
I've been struggling throughout the first quarter of the book, getting down a meager 1000 words a day (sometimes less!). Considering I usually write a minimum of 2500 a day, sometimes twice that, this has been somewhat discouraging for me. However, yesterday I found my groove and wrote 3600 words. I'm hoping today will be similarly productive. The book has wrapped up its setting and character development (stop cringing -- it's necessary in a novel that relies heavily on atmosphere, and in which the antagonist is the prevailing culture of an entire Idaho town) and is now starting to get into the part where the action really begins.
I'm a bit wary of this book. I have some pretty serious emotional investment in it. It is hard to write in some parts. It's harder to write it and to know that some of the things I have to say might offend people I care about. But I feel compelled to write it anyway, and I feel certain it's a story that needs telling. I don't think I have the power to change an entire culture. But I might have the power to touch a few individual hearts and minds, possibly to offer some comfort to people who are hurting or angry. And I know for a fact that the story I want to tell, although fictional, is true. There are people who go through what my characters will experience. There are people who live these lives. And I want to make others aware. I guess that's a task I can do. I take it seriously, and I hope I do it well.
The adage goes, "Fiction is lying to tell the truth." Ain't that the truth.