I just saw O’Neill’s autobiographical play, so it’s on my mind. The way a piano can be on a mind. Or an elephant, digging in its toenails. I don’t know if I feel worse for O’Neill or the audience. It was four and a half hours. I walked out with PTSD. To be fair, the cast did a magnificent job portraying those dreadful people. Over and over. I’d be hitting the anti-depressants after a stint like that.
I feel about the play the way I feel about a certain piece of art that used to hang in the local museum. It was basically graph paper, enlarged. I couldn’t understand. I guess I’m not smart enough. Same with Long Day’s Journey Into Night. I don’t get it. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Don’t get me wrong, I think it has value. POW camps could play it on a loop. The CIA could do away with waterboarding. Just strap the terrorists into chairs and hit play. Come back five hours later and threaten to show it again. Have I gone overboard? Well, so did O’Neill. By about two and a half hours.
This brings me to my book journey. August marks one year since I received my first rejection on my first novel. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories of others on the same journey. Most read like O’Neill’s play: pain…pain…pain…and the show is over. No happy ending, and you’re thinking it may have been a waste of time.
Since I began querying, FOUR of my writer-friends wrote and self-published their books (some published two!) and a student of mine self-published her novella. And in a little file sits my dusty book. Enthralling, my husband called it. My friend said I better not die (of a brain tumor) before I could write the sequel. I’ve had agents request it, but zero offers of representation.
I’m almost done writing my second book. I remember when I thought the hard part would be writing books. It’s a Long Day’s Journey Into Might.
As in, you MIGHT publish dat book, girl. You jes might. It’s a long journey.
…or a long day’s journey into MIGHT, as in power and strength.
Let’s go with that.