Today was one of those rare transformative days. I recently finished final edits on The Honey Locust, my novel about the Bosnian war, due out next month from Cormorant. I played hookey and spent three hours on my bike listening to my iPod and riding around the east end. At one point, I stopped in a ravine to listen to the Bach cantata Ich Habe Genug ("I Have Enough"), with one of my favourite tenors, Ian Bostridge. I was utterly transported, to the point where I felt as though I was in 18th century Leipzig in the middle of an Alpine forest (my fantasies are nothing, if not elaborate.) It took me back to a similar moment that brought forth this particular book, many years ago. I was sitting on my back porch under a neighbour’s Honey locust and experienced a feeling of utter peace that was entirely foreign to my nature at the time. It was to become the basis for the last scene of the book even before I knew what the story was about, other than its underlying theme of personal redemption. Those two moments—fifteen years apart—have book-ended things for me, for it’s only now that the book has been fully realized in my eyes. The moment itself was very Goethe-Schiller-18th-century Romanticism, but I’d be a liar if I denied that my soul is steeped in that tradition, even if my current style is outwardly anti-romantic in nature.
Wow--a whole month since my last entry. And a busy one. Since then, I've learned that Death In Key West is the number one seller at Glad Day Books, our local beloved bookshop. It was also among the top six sellers at Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in May.
Lately, however, I've been under the gun to put the final touches on The Honey Locust, my literary novel about a Canadian journalist who experiences the Bosnian War. It's now in to the proofreader. I'll have a final go at it next week, and then it's out into the wide world with it, where I hope it finds a good home. Reality can be harsh.