As my muse and I tootled across the Southeast yesterday in a 9 ½ hour drive, we were entertained by the Italian composer Verdi and his many, many operas. While “Rigoletto” took up the bulk of our time, the old imagination took an especial liking to “Macbeth” and to the character of Lady Macbeth, in particular.
“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!” the sleepwalking conspirator pleads as she tries to wipe the murdered King Duncan’s blood from her hands.
While likening one’s self to Lady Macbeth is rarely a good thing, I did find a bit of camaraderie with the old girl.
The finished-yet-unfinished The Hushing Days (my 18th novel) has been plaguing me for a year now. Just as Mrs. Macbeth thought murdering dear Duncan was a good idea at the beginning of the opera/play, she comes to rue the decision eventually –if only in her tortured sleep-, I have reached the point of rue with The Hushing Days.
Unlike the Lady, however, I do not regret the act itself. I am haunted instead by the act’s incompleteness.
The Hushing Days final edits have become a “bloody” spot on my consciousness. They must, MUST come out!
And, of course, the only way to get the tiresome spot out is to finish the bloody thing… so that is what I’m going to do.
I am giving myself three weeks, and not a heartbeat longer, to finish the edits entirely. I have enough demons to face in my sleep, I do not need an 18th century historical romance joining the conga line.
Three weeks, ladies and gentlemen.
Three weeks starting right bloody now!