Hey nerds (Rachel informed me that the salutation she objected to was actually ‘hey jerks,’ and that she doesn’t find ‘nerds’ to be combative at all, so there we go. But I mean Dan Savage could start all his columns with Hey, faggots, for eight years, and to most people I know he’s a freaking hero, so whatever. Maybe I should start my columns with ‘Hey, trannies!’…but that’s a project for another day).
So, as I was saying, hey there, nerds.
Things’ve been going okay here. I finished my sexy assassin book (working title: DEATH TRAP, and if you understand how offensive that title is, then I tip my hat to you).
This is the book about a trans woman assassin who relies on her feminine wiles lure her targets to their deaths, however she runs afoul of a league of woman assassins who’re highly offended by her lack of technical assassinating skills (she knows zero martial arts, rarely exercises, and throughout the book she’s always doing shit like forgetting to check if her gun is loaded), and when she’s awarded a big job by a prominent mob boss, the league of assassins puts out a hit on our heroine and tries to snake her job. So for the first time she’s got a foe that she can’t seduce, and meanwhile she’s also got the biggest contract of her life. Oh, and the book is set in India.
I wrote the first draft in something like eighteen days, and it was a lot of fun. I’ve always admired Anthony Trollope, who wrote his books straight through, without stopping, doing X number of pages per day, and if he finished a book before finishing his quota of pages, he started a new one that day! And when you read his books, you can see how these techniques work: he just has a bunch of characters with different goals, and then he sets them loose to have conflict with each other.
For years I’ve been like, why isn’t it just that easy? Well in this case the whole story did proceed rather organically. At times my efforts to get my hero out of her problems bordered on the fantastic, but the whole conceit of the book is that there really is no such thing as a super-soldier or a super-assassin. The business of killing people is inherently chancy, and even the best are more lucky than they are skilled.
Incidentally, I’m thinking of using this speech from the movie Miracle as an epigram:
Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One [job]. If we [fought] ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this [time]. Not tonight. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest [assassins] in the world…I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great [assassins they are]. Screw ’em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.–From a speech that was originally about hockey, but really should’ve been about killing people for money
The insane thing about the book is that, it’s good, it’s definitely good, it’s the sort of book I want to read and I want to exist in the world–but it’s nowhere near as ambitious as any number of other books I’ve written. And yet, precisely for that reason, I’m certain the book will sell and be published. You might never read my sad, sensitive literary opus, The Lonely Years, but you’ll mostly likely read this one.
Anyways, this felt really good. Was nice to just open the computer and have fun for once. It hasn’t been like that for me in a long time. Not since I sold Enter Title Here, really. Not that it hasn’t been fun, but it’s taken a lot of work. Not this time!
I’m also in the process of revising The Lonely Years. Remember that potentially insoluble problem I wrote about before? Well I’m pretty sure I’ve solved it. So we’ll see what happens with that.