Moving on Up
Three pages this a.m. – got Bronzino, del Tasso and the Young Man (now named Niccolo – my compliment to Dorothy Dunnett) down the river to Pisa. Next up, the Duke, then the Duchess and the children, then Luca Martini and friends. I’ll post the chapter here when it’s done; I’m obviously not going to make NaNoWriMo targets but I’ve posted the latest version of the “excerpt” up there anyway. Part of me wants to dump the old stuff from the other two books off my “chapters” page, to say hey forget it, never mind all that, nothing to see here. Nothing says “failure” like adding a chapter of a new book to a page full of other books’ abandoned chapters.
I think I have my plot, or at least the general arc. I’d always said I’d never write another “gay novel,” because I was sick to death of being buried in the Gay and Lesbian section of the bookstore (no matter what the subject or the story, if it be romance or historical fiction or science fiction, if the characters are gay your book is surely only of Gay Interest to Gays), with two semi-naked men on the cover to make sure the Gays knew it was of Interest and to chase the Straights away from your work for ever unless they wanted to read it on the subway without the dust jacket. Writing “gay” is still basically making yourself “box office poison.” But novels have their own desires, as do characters. So I’m thinking that this may (may) be the story of the relationship between Niccolo and Pierino da Vinci, Leonardo’s young nephew who was a promising artist in his own right, but who died at age 24. So there’s your transition right there between the wild-eyed lover of the drawing, to the somber, muted mourner of the painting. We’ll see.