It’s been fabulous seeing This Has Nothing To Do With You make its way out into the world.
People have been sending me telegraphs as my book-baby drops safely into their homes (which I LOVE).
A few have also posted reviews on Goodreads and Amazon (which I also love and which is so, so, so very helpful to me in terms of, sigh, sales – so if you read the novel, and you have positive things to say about it, please do consider leaving a review!)
But writing a novel is a funny thing. Because while I’m returning again and again to that world of Norbury and Hixon River and Mel’s repeated mistakes (recently discussed in depth during an excellent interview – excellent because the guy had clearly engaged with the book – that you can listen to here), I’m also moving forward.
Time, I’m learning, from Carlo Rovelli’s amazing The Order of Time is nothing but change (“We understand the world in its becoming, not in its being.”)
In other words: we can never stay still, nothing can ever stay still. The fibre of the universe is transitory (which, of course, meditation also teaches us but so does physics).
So, while I have plans to show up and share this brand new and beloved novel that I spent four years of my life working on (Alberta in late October, Ontario in early November, including a dance party in Peterborough (!), check out my calendar), I’m also moving forward… traveling deeper into a fictional terrain that is developing, that is becoming, that is giving me a lens through which I can understand the world in a whole new way.
I’m learning this stuff about time (or trying to: it’s physics, it’s hard!) for the sake of this new book. And alongside the physics, I’m also reading a lot of amazing books about fiction, about writing, about making with words.
Precise analyses – with examples – of how novels and stories work, of what it is about the words, the sentences, that makes them work, and examples of alternative methods of structuring narrative, and ways to enhance emotional resonance (which I wrote about recently for a guest post on the author Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s blog).
What you could say, I guess, is that This Has Nothing To Do With You has embarked on its own journey now, independent of me. I’ve ushered it out into the world and it is now becoming its own thing, to be understood by others, by (hopefully) you.
And I want to hear – I crave hearing – how others understand it, what it says to them, what they think of Mel and her compulsive habit of lying and her repeated mistakes, her efforts to do well by poor Grommet, her rescue dog, her struggles to understand her family and find empathy for her mother.
Things like this:
So, I’m feeling grateful, eager, excited both to hit the road with THNTDWY and to continue delving into the new story in my morning writing hours…. I truly hope I get to see you somewhere along the path – if not at a reading then perhaps at a workshop (next up: this weekend retreat in beautiful Whiteshell Provincial Park, book by Canadian Thanksgiving to make sure you get a spot).
And… one last thing…. I made a 1990s/80s mixtape for THNTDWY for Alllitup.ca. (You’re welcome).