By R.J. Harlick
My apologies for my tardiness in getting this up this morning, but I got caught up in a minor crisis. A skunk, and a rather large one at that, has managed to get his head stuck inside a small plastic bottle. The poor thing has been wandering rather drunkenly along the sidewalk and road. Needless to say no one was keen on getting close to him to remove the bottle. He’s now found refuge in a back yard, while we wait for the animal rescue people to arrive.
So onto my blog
What’s the worst thing you ever wrote? (Or maybe the "least best.")
Gosh, me? Write something bad, something I’m not especially proud of, something I’ve stuffed away in a drawer never to be read by any eyes, not even my own? How could that happen?
Maybe way back in Elementary School, when I tried writing my first mystery. It was a tad tedious, if I recall correctly. Too intent on detailing every step my protagonist took in solving the mystery, I had it limp to an awkward close. I think I managed to put my class to sleep while I read it out loud. But I tell you I was rather proud of myself at the time. It was, after all, my very first mystery story.
I will say that I’m not especially proud of my first attempt at writing a mystery novel, though at the time I thought it was about to be the next Great Canadian novel. I was so confident, after all I’d managed to finish the bloody thing something I wasn’t sure I could do at the outset, that I sent it out to all the big publishers and agents. It, of course, was summarily rejected, many, many months later. Fortunately, though the story remained essentially the same, the words were rewritten many times over until the resulting published novel bore no semblance to that very first draft. But you know what? I didn’t throw it out. I still have a copy of that first draft of Death’s Golden Whisper hidden away somewhere in my basement. I don’t know why I am keeping it. I don’t dare read it. But I guess I feel it is part of my journey in becoming a writer.
As Meredith said in yesterday’s post, “no one ever sat down on their first try and wrote something brilliant”, not even Ernest Hemingway who admitted in an interview by George Plimpton that he rewrote the last page of Farewell to Arms, thirty-nine times.
Before I sign off, I just want to mention to those of you living in the fabulous city of Vancouver that I will be out your way next week promoting my latest Meg Harris mystery, Silver Totem of Shame. I am doing a number of library and bookstore events. For details check my blog. I would love to see some of you there.