Every morning for the past few days I’ve been awakened via low-voltage cattle prod wielded by a masked man in a three-piece suit.
He’s huge, busting out of his ill-fitting suit, and he wears one of those Mexican Wrestling masks. Why? I don’t know. You might as well ask why the cattle prod, instead of, say, a sharp stick, or a rabid monkey shoved enthusiastically under the sheets.
The reason behind this new indignity, of course, is my lack of blog production. There are good reasons for this. Number 1, I’m in the last stages of revising the sequel to The Electric Church. The contract was signed and now I’m legally obligated to either deliver an acceptable manuscript or repay my advance monies and be beaten with table legs until I expire. Or something. I am admittedly a little vague on the actual contract language. When I signed, I was immobilized after drinking some seriously suspect liquor, and my wife had to guide my hand to form my ‘mark’. But I was assured it was legally binding.
The sequel is pretty much done; it’s just the finishing touches I’m doing now. The exhausting thing is, the finishing touches can go on for a very long time, and sometimes the finishing touches involve deleting three chapters and writing new ones. Simple stuff like that.
The second reason I’ve been lame about posting to this blog is I started reading The Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie. I am a sucker for mysteries, and usually have an expression of immense stupidity on my face when it’s all said and done. I got kind of wrapped up in this one.
I love these old mysteries—Christie, Sayers, those sorts. There’s something magical about the time period (early 20th century). I always find myself surprised how like the modern day a lot of it is—and yet there’ll be a moment here and there that reminds you the story was written almost 80—100 years ago.
One thing that always strikes me about these stories is how everyone who had any money at all had servants. Cheerful, industrious servants who know their place and don’t seem to mind it, who accept the fact that their employers are higher up on the food chain than them and are okay with that. I know people today still employ servants, but I’ve never known anyone who does. I suppose someone I know out there employs a cleaning person or a nanny or something and I’m just not aware of it, but that’s not quite the same as a world where it is assumed that everyone who is anyone employs, for example, a parlormaid.
When I have ruthlessly sold out to Hollywood—spending idyllic days in a drunken haze while my secretaries write my scripts for me, like Faulkner—and am rich, I will, of course, have a whole household of servants to attend to me. Mainly to my grooming, which has declined shockingly in recent years and probably requires a team of experts by now anyway.
So, there you have it: Watch the skies for the TEC sequel, and I am stinky. But devastatingly handsome. Once you get through the grime, of course.