by Shelt Garner
Tonight is something of both a test and a milestone. It’s a test because other than one pretty big issue, I’m like Burgess Meredith at the end of his most famous Twilight Zone episode: I have all the time in the world. The question is, will I figuratively break my glasses or not? If I don’t hit the ground running pretty soon, then, well, I guess we know our answer.
But I don’t think that will happen. So tonight is a milestone. I plan on being a lot more serious with development starting tonight. I may play a little bit by writing on this blog, but I hope to throw myself into development tonight. I have a few concerns — I may have a cavity I have to deal with in the near term — but I hope I can at least wrap up development of the first act this weekend to such an extent that I can start to do a lot more practical research starting now.
I am using Audible to force myself to at least be exposed to some of my mindshare competition — I can’t simply flip through The Girl Who Played With Fire as a textbook forever. And there continue to be some lingering existential issues with the novel that I am very well aware of. The story is great, and, yet, it’s not Network. I name names (in a way) and that is simply not done in Network and other similar political works of art.
Or, put another way, while I’m trying very, very hard to appease MAGA with this novel on an existential level, given that MAGA is a fucking cult and any criticism of Der Fuehrer can never be brooked, well, there you go. That’s probably the biggest lingering existential problem — I could probably take out the conspicuous finger pointing of our current POTUS, and, yet, it’s my abject creative rage against the Trump Administration that has given me the energy to keep going with this novel long after I might otherwise have given up. If I can find a beta reader willing to help me figure out how to lop off the most obvious political aspects of the story, I’m all ears. I want this to be as big a tentpole as possible. As it stands, I got nothing. Introducing our deranged Chauncey Gardner president as a super-massive black hole that comes near to the plot at a crucial moment raises the stakes about as high as you can get. If the stakes get any higher nuclear weapons or aliens will be involved.
So, as of right now, things are going good-to-great. A lot, A LOT, can go wrong now. But I hope all the potential disasters can simply delay, not end, my quest to write a timely political guilty pleasure techno-thriller allegory for woke Park Slope Brooklyn moms. If I manage to write an American response to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo AND give the Latinx community a fictional folk hero AND tell MAGA to FUCK OFF, all the fucking better.