on writing

Long Day’s Journey

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.


11 thoughts on “Long Day’s Journey”

  1. At least you’re trying. My writing just sits there as I’m not motivated to push through from writing to publishing. (I am trying to get some of my short plays produced at local community theatres. That’s a long journey too.)

  2. It will happen! “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

  3. It’s tough to know what road to take. Self-pub or hang in there. After you publish, then another long journey begins–promotion. This falls to the author whether you self-pub or even if you are picked up by an agent/publisher. And I thought writing a book would be the hard part–wrong! Writing it is actually the fun part. Your book is good and so is the one you are working on right now! Go Kelly!!

  4. Love this. Try August Wilson’s series of plays…he’s telling sad stories, but sometimes there’s a bit of joy. Totally agree about poor O’Neil

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