Mercury in Retrograde


MercRXSome years ago, I worked feverishly on a novel manuscript. Banged out 60K words in a six or eight-week frenzy, during a lull in regular work, religiously getting four, manuscript formatted pages a day, with Sundays off, if I recall. I don’t recall.

Reading and rereading a variety books lately, novels, I found myself tearing up at sappy plot points.

I realized — in a moment of reverie — that I had plotted that sappy element into my own novel, but it didn’t work right, and I couldn’t make it work right because I was too close to the subjects.

“A writer must not be afraid to kill his own children,” to paraphrase a great Southern author.1 (Hi Mom.)

Mercury in Retrograde

As a part of the requisite “Mercury in Retrograde Protocols” I’ve long since established, and I use, to move in concert with the little planet’s errant distractions?

My previous Mercury Retrograde rituals tend to include coffee in bulk, “Reversing” candles, maybe sage, incense, and a couple of recurrent projects — like that old manuscript.

During the next few weeks, I’ll unearth that file, page through the material, marveling at the words, correcting minutiae, and wondering why I can’t send this out again.

That recent moment of reverie, I reread one novel, then read a current current selection, then went back to another author’s latest. Good stuff, some amusing material, and then, there’s that moment, I realize I have to the nuts and bolts, the pieces are all there, but mine is missing “heart.”

Mercury in Retrograde

I had too many moving part and an unconscious level of personal crap layered into that work. While I refuse to retire it completely, I might be less inclined to dig through it this time because I understand, now, what it is missing.

Often, it’s deemed “un-writerly,” and in some circles, bad luck to discuss ongoing works. This is like, the third novel manuscript I’ve done, and it’s like the third that seems to be less than a critical success.

Not failure, other than, yes, “Failure is an option,” but more along the lines of a notable and noble exercise — with less than stellar results. Not bad. Not good, either, but not bad.

Mercury Retrograde brings up old memories like this.

the Portable Mercury Retrograde

Portable Mercury Retrograde – Kramer Wetzel

Portable Mercury Retrograde:’s Mercury in Retrograde

  1. cf., Faulkner, &c.

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