Life Sentences, Day 124: Mulligan Stew

February 2nd, 2011

Yes, that’s “Mac,” playing for pennies in the Brixton tube station.  How the mighty have fallen.  

Only moments after this picture was taken he insulted a passer-by who hadn’t dropped a coin in the hat, and he was carried out of the station by guards.

Just a sort of stew today, bits and pieces from hither and yon.

Yes, Lil is right.  We have an offer on the table, with two other companies considering the series.  We should know by Friday.  I’m happy about it — Poke and the family belong in hard cover and paperback — but there are some details that need to be worked out.  I can’t be more specific than that.

But it’s good news.

I’m about 13,000 words from the end of PULPED.  I like what I’ve got, but it’s resolving itself too easily.  What I need is for one of three characters to throw a spanner in the works so things stretch out naturally, as opposed to my doing something mechanical, some sort of plot-driven reversal.  If God’s willing and the creek don’t rise, I could have a complete draft within ten days, and then poor Munyin will have to sit through the whole thing out loud.

The day PULPED is put to bed, I’ll have to decide what’s next. It should probably be Poke #5, but I have a great beginning on the third Junior, MUTHER’S DAY, and I’d also like to pull together the writing book based on that part of my site, plus about 50 blogs I’ve contributed to other writing sites.  How I wish I had the energy I had back in the bad old days when I could do 5000 words on one project and then turn to another for another 1500-2000 words.

GOD WILLING AND THE CREEK DON’T RISE is the name of a sensational CD by Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs.  I wanted to put a song in here but they’re all over the seven-megabyte limit.  Great music.

Happy Chinese New Year, everybody, and welcome to the Year of the Rabbit. If you’re lucky enough to be a Rabbit, you’re talented, articulate, and ambitious.  Anybody want to trade birthdays?

10 Responses to “Life Sentences, Day 124: Mulligan Stew”

  1. EverettK Says:

    Congratulations on everything moving forwards nicely (apparently).

    Based upon what I’ve read before, I would think you wouldn’t want to work on the Poke book any further until the contract stuff is settled. Of course, that will likely BE settled by the time you finish PULPED, so it may be a moot point. You may be contractually obligated to work on Poke #5 by the time you finish PULPLED. N’est pas?

    Not that I wouldn’t dearly love to see the Muther’s Day soon, too. Sigh.

  2. Suzanna Says:

    Hi, Tim

    Mac sure has had it rough. Is there some sort of bagpipers rehab he can go to? I’m really concerned.

    That’s great news that the Poke series may have a new hardcover home soon. Hope it all goes just the way you want it to.

    Brando told me about the new LaMontagne album and we listened to a few songs. A voice from the Music Gods, no other way to explain it. Been one of my faves since I heard him on NPR a few years back.

    By the way are you a Rabbit in Chinese Astrology? You sure fit the bill!

    Adieu Year of the Tiger. Glad to see you go!

  3. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    I have a question. Do your characters ever intrude on each other? I mean, do you sit down to write Simeon, and suddenly find Junior knocking at the door? Just askin’ Good luck with all. I guess I admire how you keep it all straight.

  4. Gary Says:

    Tipping point, here we come!

    Great news, Tim. Best of luck with working out the details.

  5. Philip Coggan Says:

    Mac will never give up the bagpipes. Congrats on finding Poke a home – tho I’m a bit in the dark. What’s going on?

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, friends, and sorry it’s been so long — writing PULPED right now is like being dragged behind a truck. I always forget what it’s like as a book nears its end.

    Hi, Everett — The way things look, I’ll be able to write anything I want as long as it’s not for paper publication — in other words, not for a competing publisher. This clause is a holdover from the time when nobody wrote e-book originals and will undoubtedly be combed from all contracts in the next few months. For now, though, I can write whatever I want. But part of me just wants to get back to Poke and the family.

    Suzanna, Mac made his bed and he can lie in it. When nobody wants to make music with you, it means one of two things: either you’re impossible to get along with or you play the bagpipes. In Mac’s case, it’s both. And yes, Ray LaMontagne doesn’t sound like anyone in the world, and he writes great, too.

    Lil — Not really, no. That’s probably partly because they’re more alike than I usually admit. But more likely, it’s because there’s always something in the world of each book that I find especially engaging. In PULPED, it’s Madison and the interplay between the two dimensions, fiction and real life. Poke doesn’t really fit in there. I have a feeling this book is going to require more rewrite than most because there’s so much unrealized potential in the first draft. On the other hand, I may leave it essentially as is and think about doing another book, essentially making this into the second Simeon series. It’ll depend in part on whether everyone likes or hates the first one, and I’m being absolutely candid when I tell you I have no idea.

    Thanks, Gary — let’s just hope we tip forward rather than backward.

  7. Jean Henry Mead Says:

    Happy Chinese New Year, Tim. Yes, I’d like to trade birth years. I happen to be a rat. 🙂

  8. Jean Henry Mead Says:

    I forgot to add: Congratulations on your Edgar nomination. I love The Queen of Patpong. I think it’s your best to date.

  9. Larissa Says:

    Hehe. I’m a dog. Go figure. (c: Anyway-I’m glad to hear things are moving along at a good, busy pace. I’m thinking that all your publisher problems will be a thing of the past pretty quickly-the content of the books speak for themselves so (c:

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Philip — Just before the Edgar nom, HarperCollins let me know they weren’t going to publish the next two Pokes. My agent went to half a dozen publishers and got a pretty good response. We’re now set with one, but they get to announce it. The book will come out in mid-2012, sort of a long time between books.’

    Jean, thanks so much for the new year wishes and the Edgar congratulations. My wife is a Rat, too. Rats and Horses are supposed to be wildly incompatible, but then our Western horoscope signs are also supposed to be wildly incompatible. One reason I don’t pay much attention to astrology.

    Hi, Riss — The Dog has many good qualities. I like being a Horse, but my wife would trade signs with you in a moment. She HATES being a Rat. And, yes, we decided today on the publishing company, so barring something really unforeseen, we should be set.

    And thank you, Gary. Your comments keep coming in at this awkward point where they go above the box containing my answers to earlier comments so I don’t see them when I come back to answer again. Sorry about that.

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