When the Music’s Over

SO, the book’s done.

INTERIOR: Jeff’s office. A simple wooden desk laden with pornographic magazines and old copies of Who’s Who in Baseball, some filing cabinets, a futon, a hollow-body electric guitar, four cats, and a computer.

Enter JEFF. He is wearing a soiled-looking bathrobe. His hair stands up as if superglued. He is carrying an unlabeled bottle of brown liquid. He sits down at his desk and stares blearily at the computer screen. Slowly he nods off, chin sinking to his chest. Just as the bottle slips from his slackened fingers, three uniformed Helper Monkeys appear, gather up the bottle, make sure Jeff is still breathing, and scamper off, chattering.

In other words, I always find the transition from working like mad on a novel to being done with the novel to be a tough one.  I go from constantly working on a familiar and well-known piece, something I know so well I can jump to tiny details in the manuscript automatically without having to search for them, to having no big project at all.

For a few days I’ll contemplate my next step: Hire mercenaries and try to take over a small, unstable South-American country? See if I can finally gain that 150 lbs I’ve been dreaming of? Start writing that vampire-romance where pure, agape-type love cures vampirism? Begin my campaign to make public pantslessness acceptable to society?

Or, most likely: Sit around getting drunk and hate myself for wasting time? Yup. Let’s go with that.

I hate wasting time, but after a major project it takes me a few days to retread the tires and get started on something else, so for a few days all I do is waste time. So I sit around drinking cocktails and thinking, damn, I ought to be writing something. This way lies madness, of course. And cocktails.

In the mean time, in an attempt to make this dull period not completely useless, I am trying to learn the guitar solo from AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. ANGUS YOUNG WHY DO YOU MOCK ME SO! The man must have freakish hands. Freakish.


  1. Craig

    Dude. Let me save you some time. Gaining that 150 pounds ain’t the way to go. TRUST ME on THAT ONE.

    I kind of like the taking over a small country idea though… but that would probably entail me having to get in shape, right?

  2. Dave

    Craig, getting in shape is for fat people! Also, this is why you get the mercenaries to take over the country for you.


  3. jsomers (Post author)


    You’re probably right. I probably need at least 200. I better order two more barrels of government peanut butter.

    As for getting in shape, I imagine we could find a commision in my militia for you, which would mean you’d be carried in a plush chair at all times, as all officers in The Somers Imperium are.

    Dave: Finally, someone who understands! I assume you’ll be enlisting in my infantry? Excellent.


  4. Craig

    Man, I knew there was a reason I kept coming here. Thanks Dave and Jeff!

  5. Diamat

    Yay for slacking! If you need any pointers, just ask.

    I can’t even buy whiskey properly. I went into Waitrose to replace my Caol Ila 12 yesterday, and bought a Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition Muscat finish. And a Laphroaig, ahem. ‘And I only went in for a pint of milk…’

    I am currently trying to master Robin Trower’s ‘I Can’t Wait Much Longer’ from the 1976 ‘Live!’ album, wherein he plays the lead and rhythm, apparently at the same time. I’m not even close… certainly no cigar.

  6. jsomers (Post author)

    Diamat my friend,

    No pointers needed. I haven’t changed clothes for days. I’m an expert.

    I’m woefully behind on my whiskey. The other night D and I met some work friends for a drink at a Sushi place, always a bad sign when it comes to potables. I asked our waitress what whiskies she had and got that blank stare I know so well, so with a sigh I just ordered a JW Black and settled in to grumble. I would very much like to always pick the venues, rotating between the 3 or 4 acceptable whiskey places I know of. But I am always voted down by the woman.


  7. Alex

    Alcohol and I aren’t on speaking terms. Recently my roommate bought some sort of german cherry water for a cake recipe (?!?!) and I was like “looks, delicious, I’ll take a few swigs”. As it turns out, german cherry water is like 95 proof, or something dumb, and I ended up dry-heaving into the sink after trying to down a mouth-ful. I was upset.

    Love whiskey, though. Or rum. So I can pretend I’m a pirate.

  8. jsomers (Post author)


    Ah, Kirsch. Not my bag, really, but I have a few bottles of the stuff floating about the bar area. It is deadly.


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