Monday, December 28, 2020

Starting Over

By Thomas Kies

This will be my last blog of 2020. I certainly won’t be sorry to kick this year’s butt out the door and embrace 2021.

2020 had it all. First and foremost was the pandemic. Sitting in my little corner of the world, I felt relatively safe. A horde of tourists felt the same way. Tourist season here on the coast has literally broken records. Travelling by air seemed risky, but driving here, renting a vacation home, and sunning on the beach felt safe.

But now, covid seems to be creeping closer and closer. Our daily number of infections continues to climb, hospitalizations increase, and now people I know have contracted it. One individual, in his fifties and healthy, died from covid complications.

In addition, 2020 saw out of control wildfires devastating parts of the western United States. Fires seemed to completely consume the continent of Australia, wiping out forests, killing billions of animals.

One after another, hurricanes made landfall, battering the Gulf Coast states and Central America in particular.

Unemployment skyrocketed. Food lines continue to grow. The government seems unwilling or is too dysfunctional to help.

Winding things up this year, an RV in downtown Nashville is packed with explosives and detonated outside of an AT&T Data Center. A recording of a woman telling the immediate area to evacuate immediately is blasted over a loudspeaker on the RV before it explodes. An extravagant suicide? An attack against the communication center? As of this writing, it's a mystery.

Somehow an appropriate way to end the year.

An end of 2020 bright spot? For now, there's toilet paper on store shelves.

Strange year.

So, when I say that I’ve thrown out the first hundred pages of my next book and I’m starting over, it doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

Why did I do that? If I’m bored writing it, the reader is going to be bored. That’s literary sacrilege.

I didn’t have to completely trash it all though. The characters are basically the same, only better…or worse, depending on if they’re a good guy or a bad guy.

The plot is basically the same, except better. The pacing is faster, the dialogue snappier, the descriptions of the scenes more vivid. More show, less tell.

So, writing that first hundred pages that ended up in the trash wasn’t a complete waste of time. If only we could throw 2020 in the trash and start over.

Oh, wait. We are.

1 comment:

John R. Corrigan (D.A. Keeley) said...

Thanks for sharing this, Tom. It's never easy.