Finally finally-- I'm delighted to announce I've finished a new novel entitled BATHING THE LION.
It will be published in Poland by Rebis October, 2013 and in the US by St. Martin's Press (and elsewhere) in the summer of 2014. It took a long time to write this one, but I like how it came out. I hope you do too. More details as they arrive.
I once had a very formal editor in England. Very proper, very British. While chatting one day I told her I'd read in the paper about a laboratory in Switzerland that had been experimenting with transplanting pubic hair onto the head of bald guys. Initially the concept appeared to be good because that hair is thick and healthy and God knows it’s tough stuff. But after having done a number of experimental transplants they discovered a problem-- when the men’s scalps sweated, they smelled strongly like hot crotch. Obviously the process included transplanting the whole hair and its follicle so it wasn’t just the hair that got a new home upstairs. After I'd finished telling the story, my editor was quiet a while and then said very carefully and regally as only a Brit can "Well, I suppose that gives a whole new meaning to the word Dickhead."
I want to be sitting somewhere. I want to be sitting somewhere with you. Somewhere as the sun yellows down to orange, and night leaks blue then purple into the sky, like ink dribbled slowly into a glass of water. Far above, the glint of a plane draws a white contrail as vivid as school chalk across the evening canvas. We’re in Greece somewhere by the sea. It’s hot—summer. Or maybe a late Fall day somewhere up north. Crisp, when sunsets come and go quickly so you have to pay full attention or you’ll miss them. Two Adirondack chairs side by side, forest green, or no color at all because they’ve lived out in the hard weather for years. You are telling me a story I’ve never heard before about your childhood. Your voice is quiet and intimate, but also alive and peppery with humor. Your hand is on my arm. I am grinning. I’m grinning because it is you talking and your story is good and I know soon we will rise together and have a wonderful meal where the food and talk will be equally good. Afterwards perhaps we will return to these chairs by the sea, or a forest, a desert, or by nothing important at all to listen to the night, as dense and black by then as the inside of a closed drawer.
And you will say. And I will say.
That is all I want on this foggy winter evening.
All right Carroll-reading community-- here's a challenge: DT wrote in that he wants to have a tattoo done using a quote from one of my books. He asked if I had any suggestions. I said I would think hard on it. Then it struck me you too should be consulted because some of you know the books better than I do at this point and have your favorite lines. So-- what do you suggest? The quote obviously can't be too long or else it'll take up all of his skin. When (if) I come up with something I think works, I'll post it here. But in the meantime-- start thinking-- and suggesting.
Post your thoughts here: http://www.facebook.com/thejonathancarroll
On this last day of the year I was thinking about sea glass and what an extraordinarily good metaphor it is for what we all hope for in life. When it was created and initially used, the glass had no value. It was part of a greenish Coke bottle, a brown wine bottle, olive oil, or a blue drinking glass. Nothing of importance. Use up the contents and throw the bottle away. Somehow or other the glass broke and its pieces were scattered. This one ends up in the ocean. For a long time, maybe even years, it lives there being tossed and tumbled, roiled here and there by the whims of the sea. It's not a good life, but it manages to keep intact. All the time it's in there however, its sharp edges are being worn away by the water's constant movement. The violence of storms, the bleaching sun, saltwater... all these things transform it. Eventually it gets washed up on a beach somewhere. It is the same glass it once was but also something new. Not entirely but almost. The color has been burned away by the sun and the acid sea, making the glass more translucent, ethereal, and lovely. It has no more edges. But without them it has taken on a shape, a form, that is often singular and truly one of a kind. Sooner or later someone comes by and notices it. They are immediately attracted. They love it for what it has become. Often they take it home and in some cases, even turn it into a piece of jewelry or something else valuable. Something to treasure.