A Journey Through the Fifth Circle of Hell

As Dante descended into Hell in The Divine Comedy, I have endeavored to do the same. I travel deeper and deeper into the concentric reaches of the Inferno, a journey into the depths of fear, apathy, denial, regret, and despair. My current manuscript—the only non-fantasy I’ve ever tried to write—has forced me to face every bad decision I’ve ever made as a parent…or as a human being. I’ve given a great deal of thought to the following issues: how I deal with relationships and why; how doing nothing is still making a choice; that apathy and wrath are mirror images of the same emotion; that anyone can have an epiphany, but the true test of character is how one uses that insight to make a change.
Yes, my current manuscript is my own personal circle of Hell and I can’t wait to be done with the first draft so I can put some distance between us. Three months, six months…forever. I hate the book and it is only through sheer will that I’m coming close to finishing it. I’ve put myself on a strict word-count schedule each day, and as a consequence, I’ve become depressed, irritable, and desperate to finish.
If the book is ever published, I’ll delete this post and deny I ever struggled with it. I’ll say it was a pleasure to write and that the words poured forth unencumbered by guilt and frustration. I won’t mention that the book was never intended to be what it has become, that at one point it was meant to be a light fantasy about a teen who gets sucked into his world of online gaming. Nor will I mention that the book took on a life of its own by sucking the life out of me.

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