good grief


So, in the last post of this blog, I posted a novel I've written. Feel free to download and read it, if you're interested.


Let me explain where this book came from. When I was in my twenties, I aspired to be an author of fiction.


In addition to a number of short stories and other stuff, I wrote two full-length novels.


I decided that the first one was garbage and threw it away. I believe I managed to delete all physical and data copies of it. (From what I remember of it now, yes, I still think it was crap.)


The second was supposed to have met the same fate. I showed some shorter, early drafts to friends and professors; then I set about expanding it to novel length. I brought the manuscript with me to Japan and kept working on it there.


But once again, I lost faith in it and decided to chuck it. This has been an unadmirable pattern in my life—lose faith, chuck it; lose faith, chuck it...


However, when preparing to move to Malaysia, from among some papers I unearthed a handwritten draft of the novel.


(This doesn't seem to have been the very latest draft; in particular, there is a scene missing which I vividly remember writing—though not vividly enough to write it again.)


With about a decade between chucking and unearthing the thing, I found I'd lost much of my loathing for the book's very existence. I still wasn't that keen to read it.


But in a what-the-hey access of optimism, I resolved to type it up and share it with a few people. "Who knows, maybe somebody will like it."


In the end, I couldn't just limit myself to retyping. I felt compelled to try and fix up some of the worst bits.


But you can only polish a turd for so long before you've got to admit to yourself that it ain't getting any shinier. So I've put an end to the fiddling and futzing and uploaded the thing.


With such a razzle-dazzle introduction, I'm sure you're raring to read it now. Well, please do.