Progress Report

So I carved out this little space a week ago, and haven’t updated since which makes me feel a wee bit guilty but I couldn’t think of anything to write for my second post that would really be of interest to anyone.

Then I remembered that a blog is for telling everyone out there on the internet exactly what’s going on with you, whether they care or not. And not many people know that this is here yet, which is why I need to keep hammering away at it, to build it into a monolith of text that no one can ignore. People will be forced to read it, whether they know me or not, whether or not they even believe I’m a real person or a corporate-developed conglomerate posing as human for the sake of selling books. This blog will be read in schools, it will be projected onto the sides of buildings. The text will be inescapable. People will read the books this blog is selling and weep, possibly because they would rather be doing anything else.

Josan Gonzalez
Illustration by Josan Gonzalez

Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t make this dystopian future.*

But we have a long way to go before we get to that, so here’s what’s happening with me and my book today, October 5, 2016:


I don’t know if you know this, but writing a book is hard. Most people don’t get it right on the first try. So revising is an important part of the process, to go back, look at the parts that aren’t working, and see if you can fix it and make it so they do–or at least, so not as many people will notice that they don’t.

A lot of writers hate it. I know some writers who refuse to even do it, but all we can do for them is pray that someday they’ll come to the light.

A lot of writers actually like it. I once heard a writer I admire very much (I think it was Robin Hobb) say that revision and rewriting is where she really gets to take her story and make it sing. Because when you’re revising, you already know what the story is and now it’s time to just make it good.

I can see both points of view. I spent the last four years (nearly five, actually) working on my own book, and the main reason it took so long was that when I started I had no idea what I was doing. So instead of doing things the most sensible way, which is usually to write a whole story all the way to the end and then go back and fix it, I did things in a very herky-jerky, stop-and-start kind of a way. I would push the story forward and get stuck, and give up, and not work on it for months and months, so when I came back I wouldn’t remember what the story even was. That meant I would begin at the beginning, polishing as I went, changing small or medium-sized story events, and often taking a whole different direction two thirds of the way through what I had and losing whole swathes of story at a time. Until I got stuck again, and wandered away again, and eventually came back. Lather, rinse, repeat.


It was slow, but I didn’t worry too much about the time it was taking, or the digressions. I always thought of this book as the book I would write to learn how to write a novel, and that’s what it turned out to be. And nobody cared whether it got finished or not except me, so I always told myself if it became completely unsalvageable I didn’t have to go back to it. Nobody would be mad at me. There would be no consequences, other than lost time.

I always did come back to it. Because as it turned out, this story is a story I am passionate about. It combines a lot of things I love: Greek mythology, California history, silent movies, and a main character I really love and identify with. Sometimes I would get frustrated, or overwhelmed, or just busy with other things, so I would have to leave the book for a while. But I could never leave it alone.

I love this story.

On the other hand, I have been staring at the same words for so long that now they all blur together in front of my eyes and have no meaning, and I have to trust other people about what does and doesn’t make sense anymore because I feel like I might as well be adjusting a test pattern at this point.


The good news is, that means we’re almost done.


*I very much did create this dystopian future. Just this one though.



Back to blogging!

Hey everybody. It’s been a while since I kept a blog, but I figured it was about time to start one up again, because a pretty big thing happened to me last week.

I accepted an offer of representation from a literary agent. Her name is Hannah Fergesen and she works at KT Literary Agency and she’s awesome.

Wow! You’re going to write a book?

Actually, I already wrote a book. If it’s fiction, they make you write the whole book before anyone will treat it as a saleable commodity. But I have done that. Yay me!

I didn’t know you wrote a book.

I probably didn’t tell you. I didn’t tell very many people, because when you tell people you’re writing a book and you are not already known for writing books, the general (and correct) response is, “Oh good for you, I guess. What’s it about? Dragons, or all the people you slept with in college? Uh-huh no I’m totally interested, you should keep talking. I’m just going to order another drink.”

Congratulations on writing a book! Where can I buy it?

You can’t yet. That’s why I need an agent. When you write a book, you have to get an agent to sell the book to a publisher for you so that they’ll print it. You see, there are a lot of steps in the publishing industry, especially for somebody who’s brand new like me, and–you know what, that’s okay. Go get your drink.

So how long before your book gets published?

Ahahahahaha I’ll let you know.

You know, I have a cousin who wrote a book and she just put it up on Amazon herself. 

Yeah, I didn’t want to do it that way. But I hope your cousin’s book is doing well.

Anyway, why are you making a whole new website over this?

I’m so glad you asked! Since it’s going to take a while for the book I wrote (which is amazing, by the way) to actually make it to interested readers like you, I wanted to make the most of the intervening time by creating a nice web space for myself, where you can check in and see what I’m up to, and get updates on how the book is progressing, and hear about whatever else I might be working on.

Aren’t you on Facebook?

Totally. I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr. If you want to follow me there too that’s awesome. By having a website of my very own in addition to that, I can make it easy for you or anyone else to learn what’s up with me immediately, and show a little more of my own personality. They say it’s good for writers to have personal websites. It builds their platform.

What’s a platform?

Honestly, nobody knows. But it’s important to have a big one.

I get it. Want a drink?

Yes, thank you.