That’s a picture of London Forces or Do Nothing Twice, the first novel I’ve managed to love enough to complete. (Sorry, You Have to Love People. I’ll get back to you someday.) It’s the fulfillment of a lifelong goal. I first tried to write a novel – a crime novel to be exact – as a pre-internet 4th grader. I didn’t know enough about police procedures to get very far, but I remember wanting to write with a fierce, frustrated passion, and I can see the blue cover of the spiral-bound notebook I used, and the way it looked when I set it down on the creme-colored shag carpeting of our living room.
In a month or two, people will have read this and told me all the ways it needs improvement, and I’ll be ecstatic they didn’t loathe it or despondent that they did. Either way, whatever the future holds for it, I salute you, 4th grade ambition. You finally got your due.