The holidays were filled with hours and hours of writing and editing. Through those hours I dove deep, a depth from which I have yet to emerge….hopefully I won’t emerge until this manuscript is complete. The feeling is hard to explain other than to say it is difficult to think of anything else. Even as I carry on with my day, cooking dinner, doing dishes, attending meetings, preparing syllabi, the book buzzes about in the back of my mind.
Perhaps it is because over the break I began the chapter on Toole’s suicide, the chapter I fear most. I feel the heavy responsibility of telling the story of another man’s life, but to tell the story of Toole’s suicide shakes my nerves. I will, of course, carry on with the duty. It is arguably the most intriguing part of the story. But I am determined to not let his suicide cast a shadow over the book.
And as I pondered his darkest hours, I gained access to a letter from Toole that had likely not been read since 1963. It is a letter written right before he started writing the novel in Puerto Rico. It is a good beginning to the new year.