A lot to be thankful for in this neck of the Maine woods, as someone very near and dear was in a serious car wreck the day after Thanksgiving. The kind where you see the car go by on a wrecker and you shake your head and say, How did anybody survive that?
In this case, the SUV spun on ice and snow, crossed the opposite lane, hit a rock wall head on at 40 mph, bounced back, rolled, and eventually came to rest on its side. The truck looks like it was dropped from an airplane. There was even a heart-stopping phone call: “This is Deputy … of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department. May I speak to Gerald Boyle?” But in the end the injuries were minor: two broken fingers and a very stiff neck.
I tell you this not just because it’s on my mind but because it has implications for my writing. It’s like this. Sometimes, mostly when I’m reading the newspapers, I see life as one big minefield. Mudslides, floods, illness, forest fires, trucks flung off icy roads, wars, famine, packed ferries that sink in typhoons, random maniacs—there are countless ways for the plan we have so carefully devised for our time on earth to go terribly wrong. Not that the glass isn’t always half full.
So when you dodge one of the random bullets, or even the not so random ones, you have a responsibility to make everything you can of the gift that has just landed in your lap. In my case, in addition to keeping my good fortune first and foremost, I’m going to fling myself into my writing. It’s like you have to have something to show for the fact that the big boot in the sky stepped on the anthill next door and not on yours (why does that sound like a Travis McGee line?). Maybe this is some sort of survivor guilt. I’ll have to ask Clair. That’s a subject he knows well.
So what do I have to show? Well, these books are part of it so I’m pumped up. Rejuvenated (though I wasn’t really unjuvenated). Psyched. PORT CITY DEATHTRAP, Brandon Blake No. 2, is ready for the pre-publication pipeline. I’m very fired up for the next Jack McMorrow novel, NO. 10, and am planning the research. I’m looking forward to script notes from L.A. on an ongoing film project.
So it’s time to write, baby, write. And give thanks for all kinds of things. Family. Friends. The first snow of the year (well, maybe not this time).
Last but not least.