Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

On the Cusp

A funny thing happened while I’ve been griping and grumbling and carping about my current WiP: I’m nearly finished.

Last night, I sat down and tried to work on the penultimate chapter. I didn’t have much success, but that’s okay. The morning was productive, and this chapter will come–I may start in on it after I finish this post, or this evening when I’m home from work. If all goes well, by the time I have my “State of the Union” conference with Carrie later this week, I’ll be able to tell her, “It’s done!”* and we’ll both be pretty happy about that.

It’s funny how stuff like this can sneak up on you. You’re plugging along, focused on what’s in front of you, and all of a sudden, there it is–whoa, how’d that happen? For a long time it felt like I would never get here, but it happened the way writing always happens: one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

*Of course, I’m not quite ready to pop the champagne just yet (I don’t do that, anyway, though I might allow myself a nip of scotch or something). There are those last two chapters to get through. The one I couldn’t quite face last night will require a little more heavy construction than the last one. And then it’s definitely going to need a re-read and a pass-through before I send it off. Will it ultimately be good enough? That remains to be seen, but it’s a step almost completed, and given how difficult it’s been to get here, I’ll enjoy the moment.

Have you ever surprised yourself by reaching the end of one of your projects? How do you celebrate hitting ‘The End’?

I was a little shocked this morning to sit down at my computer and see the news that David Bowie died. Every once in a while someone will die and you’ll think, “Wait, I didn’t even know he was still alive!” but that was not the case with Bowie. What did surprise me was that he had been battling cancer. Either I don’t pay that much attention to the celebrity news or Bowie kept this one to himself. Even when he released a new song not all that long ago (I gave it a listen, and really didn’t like it), I don’t recall there being any mention of cancer.

I was never a huge Bowie fan; I liked some of his music, but not all of it. Still, there was no doubt that he was a huge persona, and a huge influence in the world of music. Here’s “Modern Love.” Back when I was a college freshman, there was a guy a few doors down who used to blast this all day.

7 Responses

  1. I had no idea that he had died. Oh my goodness it sometimes seems to me that we are losing all the great ones. Ray Charles death affected me a lot. It was like no I wanted to meet him someday! Even though that was extremely unlikely I still wanted him to be around and love his music so dearly. Glad that you writing Jeff and keep it up.

  2. I remember lots of Bowie songs from my college days. I always liked him, thought he was talented. It's pretty creepy when people who meant something to your childhood start dying off.

    Congrats on almost finishing your WIP! No, I've never had a "The End" sneak up on me. I've had lots of times when I wondered if it was every going to be finished though. I can usually get through the first third no prob. The second slows down a lot, and by the third I want to strangle someone and never write another word. Spending over a year writing something is just too damn long – unless you're King or Koontz and gonna make big bucks out of it. 😛

  3. I usually have something I want to do that I'll reward myself with after I finish a project. For my last project, that was to watch "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Yet, I forgot to watch it! (I'll blame the holidays.) It's still sitting on the shelf waiting. I might have to get to it sometime this week. I deserve that reward, even if I forgot about it. 🙂

    I was surprised and saddened at seeing about David Bowie this morning. "Space Oddity" (Ground Control to Major Tom) was my favorite of his songs.

  4. –Sheena-kay: the good thing is we'll always have their music, though it is sad to know that we'll never get that one in a million chance to meet them, or hear them sing in person again.
    –Lexa: Yeah, I can remember when my parents would say, "Oh, so-and-so died!" and I would think, "Who?" A year is too damn long, but I don't really begrudge it, even if I never make a dime off it (though I WANT to make a whole lot of dimes). Even as much as I've complained about this project, writing is still fun.
    –Stacy: You forgot your reward! Treat yourself! And "Space Oddity" is a great song!
    –Jemi: It is a very good feeling!

  5. For me, Bowie was absolutely part of my "growing-up sound track", and his chameleon-like capacity to change was groundbreaking. And so, on hearing that he died it really made me wonder: did he actually expire? or just reinvent himself in a way we can't yet understand? (Wow… that's some weighty stuff this early in the day!)

  6. Head…exploded.

    Well, Dan, it's entirely possible he just decided to do what Elvis and Jim Morrison did–fake his own death and resume life as just an ordinary guy.

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