Friday, January 30, 2009

Rendezvous: On doing that thing I said I'd do

So in 2007, I competed in National Novel Writing Month, and won!  Not against anybody, that is; I simply crossed the "finish line" of 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th.  The prize awarded to the winners was a free publishing, the deadline for which is coming up this April.  I didn't come up with a decent title for my book (not even a working title!) until last summer, by which time I had already completely overhauled, of all things, the setting.  This more or less made it two books.  Last summer, a Gears of War 2 trailer was released which happened to feature an excerpt from a poem which I had read in high school English during our war poetry unit.  The poem was I Have a Rendezvous with Death, by Alan Seeger:
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air-
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath-
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
This poem was one of John F. Kennedy's favorites; I like it quite a bit, myself.  I planned to title the second version of my book Breath to Breath, after a rather grievous misapprehension of that phrase.  The specific scene I have in mind is more or less a microcosm for the greater theme of the book, that the end of the world sucks - but in a "gripping page-turner" sort of way, I hope.

Being the procrastinator that I am, I have not yet gotten around to actually writing the second version (though I do have it planned in my head).  The sweet free publishing deadline is now looming close, and instead of doing the bulk of the work during Christmas vacation, I kind of have to do it all at once now.  Rather than risk failing at something awesome, I'm going to assuredly succeed at something decent, which is creating a second draft of the first version, called Rendezvous.

The tagline is, "The end of the world isn't all it's cracked up to be."

I'll be spending many of February's posts on the nineteen chapters of Rendezvous.  It's part sci-fi, part horror, with a twist of creation myth.  At any rate, this book will eventually be for sale, but for now, you can read it for free on the internet.  Hope you all enjoy it!


Zach L said...


D said...

Well, hurry up! You've got something more than a month yet.