Just a quick note to readers. The Bear is not hibernating. But his "day job" is demanding his attention. In his defense, the Bear points to his corpus of regular and varied articles that have appeared in this space the last four or five years. Now the feeble searchlight of his 450 gm brain must be trained upon the adventures of whoever may (or may not!) have survived his last novel.
There's a line in The Sun Also Rises where a writer complains his second book is so much harder to write, and the protagonist (one assumes to be Hemingway) says it's always that way.
The Bear is reading it because Hemingway is the touchstone of good writing. The first part is boring; Bear suspects it is supposed to create that "Lost Generation" ennui in the reader as a setup for whatever happens next.
The Bear also just bought a book of grammar (his is a bit of a leaky boat) called, "For Who the Bell Tolls." Come on, how do you resist a grammar book with a title like that? It's written by The Guardian's style editor.
He just hopes Western Civilization can hold out until he has built up an unstoppable momentum with his fiction writing and can get back to regular blogging. He must admit, however, that not knowing what the Pope is saying or doing has improved his morale.
Being an Anchorite has its advantages.
At 50,000 words and 18 chapters, he figures he's about halfway done. The Bear wonders if second novels are harder because writers tend to say what they really want to say in their first novels. That doesn't mean there are not different things to say, it just means it seems like shoveling the coal to maintain a good head of steam is a lot harder. You do well to putter along at eight knots instead of cruising at 20.
And there are more icebergs.
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