|Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 05:47 am: |
I'm very happy to report that, as of yesterday afternoon, I returned to work on my new book, The Bad Luck Spirits' Social Aid and Pleasure Club, after an eight week hiatus. Things at home with the new baby have "normalized" to the point where Dara can spare me an extra hour or so each night during the work week (up until yesterday, if I was even ten minutes later getting home than usual, she'd yank my chain by warning me over the cell phone that she was on the verge of eating her young). I'm going into my new job at FEMA a little earlier and leaving a little earlier in order to accomodate the precious bit of writing time at the end of each day, nestled between conference calls about temporary housing sites and giving Levi and Asher a bath.
This is the longest hiatus I've taken from my writing in about ten years. The last time I had a layoff of any significance was back in 1997, that horrendous year when I busted up my ankle really badly in a rollerblading accent and then found out my first wife was leaving me (those twin experiences provided the emotional spark for Fat White Vampire Blues, the first project I worked on post-divorce. . . kind of my "self-therapy" book).
At least with this particular project, even though I've been away from it, I haven't truly been away. The book's plot and themes are so closely tied into New Orleans' inundation and the aftermath, and, living here, it's so impossible to escape daily encounters with what Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose calls "The Thing," it's as if the past two months can be chalked up to research. Even with all the new baby stress of the past eight weeks, my imagined offspring, human and not-so-human, have never been that far from the front of my mind.