Last Thursday I finished a little book called The Dream Life of Toby McClure. I started DLTM five and a half years ago. For most of that time I thought it was dead, but every few months, I'd drag it out of storage, make elaborate plans to resurrect it, check for a pulse (nope), throw it back into storage, and pick up another WIP. (With writing, like everything else, I always have several things going at once.)
A couple of weeks ago, though, something changed. I'd been playing this game long enough that I felt foolish digging DLTM up again, but my gut told me this time would be different. I printed it out--at 270+ pages, it was insanity for a novel I was ambivalent about--and started to read.
And I liked it.
It was strange, really strange. Half of it was written at a hackerspace and coffeeshops full of red-eyed engineers in Mountain View, and the other half was written about a mile from Philip K. Dick's old house in Berkeley. Apparently, these influences rubbed off because and it kind of reads like a startup death march on acid. I gave it to my partner. He read it and called it a "Silicon Valley fever dream."
But it had a heart and a pulse, and I turned to my partner and said, "I think I can finish this."
He said, "I think you should."
I said, "I think it just needs a new ending."
He said, "I think you're probably right."
Then I spent the next week in the most comfortable chair in the house, tearing the book apart and putting it back together again.
(I may be legally required here to say that I have the best partner in the multiverse.)
So, what is this book? What is it about?
It is a small paranormal mystery novel. For most of its life, it's teetered between being a novel and a novella. In the end, it technically weighed in as a novel. It's about the length of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
The gist: When a strange accident at an old-future augmented reality nightclub in San Francisco leaves a man without his memory, the only way for the club's designer Lisa Julian to keep her job and her reputation is to prove the accident isn't her company's fault. The problem? Lisa and the man are estranged friends who have barely spoken since a co-founder's suicide destroyed the startup they built together. To uncover the truth behind the accident, Lisa will have to unravel her friend's story and find the courage to face their ghosts before the ghosts unravel her.
Can I read it?
Probably not yet but hopefully soon.
Though, there is a chapter from an earlier revision over here.
What happens now?
I need some serious R&R.
Writerscopes is going on hiatus at least until the end of May, and I've taken down my astrology reading offerings for now.
I was just about to start a new writing project when DLTM came out of hiding, so there might be some sneaky updates over here--and some process posts on this blog, if it feels right.
But, mostly, I don't know. We'll see!
If DLTM has taught me anything it's that you never know what the future will bring.