For two years, I have blogged my literary efforts but alas this must come to an end.

Armistice Day is a good day to surrender.

The blog journey started on the muddy roads of Bhutan with notice from several prospective publishers for a manuscript entitled Not Yet.  Harvard Square Editions carried me through the editorial trenches and then exactly one year ago, I handed Julia Alvarez my literary baby. Such a ride!

I'm pleased to have detailed the tribulations, anxiety, and rewards of publishing my first novel. Must now focus on a second novel if only to say that' I'm writing again because society demands production.

Funny thing is that when you do manage to write a book, the first question people ask is, “So, what’s the next one about?” And I’m like, “Damn, can’t you give a brother a break? I just spent three years on this one!”

After a few months of wallowing in a Covid-quarantine malaise, I have five concepts to choose from. The original goal was to start on the first of November and finish by July 1st, but as of yet have not put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

So, what is the next one about? Fine, I’ll bite:

The first is Tamam Kalas, roughly translated from Arabic as “OK, enough!” This is to be a collection of 20 short stories from 2000-2020 with titles such as “The United States of Yonica”, “The Gentleman’s Interview” and “My Brother’s Honeymoon”, my favorite which details our bus ride through a pre-civil war Syria.  

The second is An Uncivil War: Black Lives Never Mattered, the story of four generations of being Black in America.

The third is Vampire Census about a vampire who has worked for the Census Bureau since 1790. A story employing vampire lore as a symbol of white privilege with blood as a metaphor for the generational systematic power of white Americans.

These first three ideas are terrible, the short stories are essentially retrospective, an act done at the end of one’s career rather than the beginning. The Vampire story might be fun and I’ve written the first three chapters already.  

The fourth is The Air Bridge, the title taken from my last blog about Christina’s Lamb monumental book. Here’s the pitch:  Only women can save women.  

The story, merely a 15-page screenplay at this point, follows a team of 12 suicidal female vets hired by the mysterious billionaire Madame X to rescue women sold as sex slaves around the world. An international thriller, it’s basically Suicide Squad led by Black Panther’s Dora Milaje.

The fifth manuscript, with a working title of Mr. Little’s Magical Monsters, is probably what I’ll start on soon.  For a while, I called it Darkness in the Schoolyard (originally about a Black janitor!) but that title seemed a little ominous for a YA novel of 8th graders with topics of abuse and addiction. It’s a magical allegory featuring the obstacles/monsters encountered by kids and the role of modern education which asks, “What are we preparing students for and how do we educate children to fight their own battles?”    

Thus, in remembrance of this day a hundred years ago inside a train car in Compiegne, France, where one side was victorious and the other vanquished, I offer my own surrender of pointless blogging, an endeavor seen as outdated even when I began two years ago, an effort which can now thankfully end.  Peace at last!