Big, of course, is a relative term. I am 6-foot-6, which means I’m pretty big, but my boss is 7-foot-6, which means I’m…not. Our government makes big announcements: It appears as though the latest health care bill will die on the vine, which is big news, but compared to “call me a ‘dotard’ one more time and we’ll all die in the supernova-heat of a nuclear blast furnace,” well, you know, not so big.
So, I’m leaving it to your own relative sense of bigly-ness to decide how big this announcement is. I am writing a new book. I’ve decided to start work on a book version of this blog, and aptly call it, Pairs With: Life, A Novel. The picture you see above is the “plotting wall” of my apartment, which not unlike the frontal lobe of my brain, is now smooth and blank. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll fill this up with plot ideas, characters, story structure, chapter outlines and alcohol.
Those of you who’ve followed my life (mis)adventures for a while know that last May, I finished work on my first novel, The Flight Of The Dolphin. That book was love letter of sorts to a genre that has been near and dear to me since the fourth grade: science fiction. It was the book I needed to write; the book one writes when faced with the question, “what would you write if you could only write one book in your entire life?”
As it turns out, I get to write another book in my lifetime (I think). I learned a metric buttload writing FOTD, and one of those lessons was “write what you know.” Flight Of The Dolphin is about an emotionally-repressed, 17-year-old, half-Chinese girl who’s abducted by aliens and has to learn to interface beliefs she doesn’t possess and emotions she can’t face with an alien ship’s artificial intelligence, lest humanity itself be destroyed. Pairs With Life is going to be about…not that. In addition, my first book took me five years to write; I’m giving myself until March 1st, 2018, to complete the first draft of Pairs With Life.
This is not to say I’m abandoning The Dolphin and her crew of lovable yet troubled teens. Another reason I am writing a new book is to help clear my mind of the last project and be able to revisit it down the road with fresh perspective. Additionally, I’ve only received rejections from 104 of the 172 agents I’ve queried with that book. If one happens to decide to pick up the manuscript, I’ll drop the Pairs With Life project faster than you can say “damn straight I’m a whore.”
So, that’s the plan. I’ll post updates from time to time about how the story is developing, and of course, I’m not abandoning the critically important and informative wine reviews you’ve come to count on in this blog…
Beginning A New Novel Pairs With: “Never Too Hungover” Hangover Prevention Shots. When I started this wine blog about five years ago, I had this daydream-y notion that blogging would lead to a house full of free wine (because what reputable Napa winery wouldn’t want their $300 cult Cabernet paired with failed marriages, failed IKEA furniture and other semi-hilarious failure stories?). Not a single winery has ever sent me a bottle. Ever.*
And then one day I received an email from Ashleigh over at Never Too Hungover, a company that crazily enough makes a hangover cure called “Never Too Hungover.” The gist of her communiqué was something like, “hey, you seem like a guy who gets wasted all the time…do you want to try our new hangover prevention product?”
The shots come in two forms: Prevention for before your tryst with irresponsibility and Boost for after. Both have a combination of natural ingredients that help metabolize alcohol and detox your system, while Boost has an extra jolt of caffeine, because natural only goes so far when you purposely set out to destroy your liver. The shots are sold pretty much all over the interwebs, but you can get them on the Never Too Hungover website at…wait for it…wait for it…www.nevertoohungover.com.
My two boxes arrived just in time, as since I am writing a new book, all of the wine will be drank. I’ll give you updates on efficacy as self-destructive attempts at overcoming writer’s block dictate.
*It should be noted that my fellow wine-blogging brethren are pretty stand-up in this respect. Most have a “submission policy,” that explicitly states they welcome free samples anytime, but it does not guarantee a review. In addition, it’s pretty standard wine-blogger policy that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, so if you receive a freebie that’s awful, it just doesn’t get reviewed. Maybe if I actually paid attention to this I’d get more free wine.