Billy's fiancee had finished her Three Musketeers Candy Bar. Now she was eating a Milky Way.
"Forget books," said Rosewater, throwing that particular book under his bed. "The hell with 'em."
"That sounded like an interesting one," said Valencia.
"Jesus--if Kilgore Trout could only write!" Rosewater exclaimed. He had a point: Kilgore Trout's unpopularity was deserved. His prose was frightful. Only his ideas were good.
Only his ideas were good. I can sympathize with Kilgore Trout. I have great ideas all the time for things to write. The problem is in the execution. If my writing journals ever see the light of day, I will be incredibly embarrassed. They are full of crap. Starts and stops. Fits and detours. Ninety-five percent of what I scribble is absolute vomit.
The problem, it seems, for Kilgore Trout is that he publishes the vomit. My problem is that I work on projects for so long--essays, poems, short stories--that it becomes difficult for me to decipher the good from the bad. Everything looks like crap.
For example, I have been working on a project about Catholic saints off-and-on for many years. It's an idea that simply won't leave me, so I will see it through to completion. However, everything that I've written reads like Kilgore Trout--good idea, bad execution. That frustrates me. That's why I take long breaks from the project.
That is the life of a writer. Laboring away in isolation on a piece of writing that might turn out to be absolute garbage. Or it might turn out to be a Slaughterhouse Five. Eventually, for me, it's a matter of simply letting go. I think to myself, "I can't do this anymore," and I call it done. Leonardo da Vinci once wrote, "Art is never finished, only abandoned." I really believe that.
I am home with my wife for one more day. I plan to clean the house and work on my saint book some more. I'm not quite ready to abandon it yet.
Saint Marty is thankful for saints and writing today.