It’s here

In case you missed it, The ABCs of Dinkology: Death has arrived. Go get you some of the third installment in my series about the trials and tribulations of young Max Dinkman. It’s a pretty crazy story. I think you might like it. It’s got amazing art by David Ravenberg and a fair good piece of storytelling by . . . me. Oh, and I’d be grateful if you’d write a review after you read . . . but only a good review. Bad reviews are for the birds.

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Writing is hard

I have lived the better part of my adult life with Max Dinkman in my head. He is a 17-year-old boy with problems upon problems who kind of, sort of, maybe a little bit resembles me when I was a 17-year-old boy with problems upon problems. Max was born in my head and is probably the result of sleep deprivation, too much self-medication, and a frightened imagination running wild through the back roads of Northeast Nebraska . . . . A strange copulation indeed.

Anyway.

I’ve written an almost 600 page epic about his life from October 31, 1999 through May 5, 2000. Two parts of this epic have already been released by EAB Publishing as The ABCs of Dinkology: Life and The ABCs of Dinkology: Time In-Between. Prior to that, WSC Press released The ABCs of Dinkology, which is like a test version of Life. Three more will be available soon: The ABCs of Dinkology: DeathThe ABCs of Dinkology: Life After Death, and The ABCs of Dinkology: Rebirth. Then Max’s story will–for the time being–be over.

Yesterday I shared a draft of the final book with another person. I had never done that before. It was a jarring experience. Though between writing about Max’s seven month odyssey, I also wrote a couple other novels, a handful of short stories, a smattering of poems, a few essays and journalistic pieces, and a token academic paper or two, something about Max’s story is different . . . .

When I finally decided it was time to share the fifth book with another human being I had to go in and make a few last-minute adjustments, additions, and cuts. I had been avoiding one addition in particular for years. A part of me felt that if I kept what I knew must happen in my mind and never released it onto paper, it couldn’t happen. It’s ridiculous, I know. After all, I’m the creator. If I know an event has to happen then it has to happen. So I put on my big boy pants and I did it. It was physically and mentally challenging. It left me a mess. As I knew it would. Yes. I was bawling at my computer while the words poured from my fingers. What I was doing was horrible. It was a necessity but it was about as far from enjoyable for me as writing has ever been. It was tragic. It was heartbreaking. And there was a lot of it.

Max’s story has never been a happy one. It has its comedic moments, to be sure, like all lives do. But the tragedy outweighs the comedy. Though I’m certain I will write more novels with the same theme, message, scope, etc. of Max’s . . . and I may even come back to Max someday . . . this first series will always be the hardest because this one taught me that my stories are true . . . even if they’re made up.

I had been avoiding writing this last tragedy in Max’s life because I knew it would hurt to see the words in print, more so even than hearing it described in my head over and over for years. It’s so solid now, so concrete. Max and the people who inhabit his story are real. True, they are not real like us, but they are real. When bad things happen to them it hurts them as well as the readers. But I think most of all it hurts the writer.

Writing is hard.

On the plus side, how about a little sneak-peek of The ABCs of Dinkology: Death courtesy of Dave Ravenberg?

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