Thursday, December 10, 2020

Post-Retirement Writing

 Last week I talked about my retirement plans. Writing was mentioned only in passing. That doesn’t mean I don’t have plans along those lines.

 I’m already into the second draft of the “official” WIP, working title “Officer Involved.” It’s the seventh Penns River novel, about a Black cop shooting a white man. Not just any white man; a white supremacist. A bunch of Whitey’s buddies decide this can’t go unremarked upon and the local cops have their hands full.

 I also have a story that needs one or two more passes. It’s a Western based on the song “Seven Spanish Angels.”

 Queued up behind them are:

  • Another Penns River story about illegal high school football betting. Tentative title: “The Spread.”
  • A return to Nick Forte. Forte leaves Chicago to help Goose, who has gone to the hills to help his family. Tentative title: “The Bottom.”
  • A Penns River short story, “The Box,” that has been awaiting edits since the 35-day government shutdown a couple of years ago.

 The first few weeks, while practicing the Chinatown Principle*, I intend to watch a Western a day to whet my appetite for the Western novel I’ve picked up and set down several times. There are good bits there, but I haven’t found the narrative I want to tie them together. Maybe some immersion will help.

 After that? I have notes on a high-octane thriller I may write for the hell of it, just to see if I can do it. I suspect it will end up being a bit of a satire, but that’s okay, too.

 I also have an itch to write a straight-up comedy novel. Maybe even a caper. My mind doesn’t tend to plot as tightly as a caper requires, but this is how we learn, right?

 I suspect I’ll have other ideas as time goes. I’m going to be disappointed if I’m not retired for a long time.

 (*--Evelyn Mulwray: What were you doing [in Chinatown]?

Jake Gittes: Working for the District Attorney.

Evelyn Mulwray: Doing what?

Jake Gittes: As little as possible.)


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