In eight years of hardcore writing, I’ve probably amassed several thousands pages of content. But only a few hundred have amounted to anything.
The process of choosing words to shape selected stories from my head is, in itself, very telling. And never before has that been more clear than with my latest project, The Octopus Club.
As I laid down these particular 50,000 words, I was aware of what I was leaving out: the depths. Surely, I rationalized, a surface assessment of a young woman’s international adventures is worth exploring! I started with dancing at the Octopus Club in Kenya and made my way to the Pool for Drowning Women in Reykjavik, Iceland. I churned out the manuscript in three months. Loving every minute of it, I might add. Because it was fun hanging out with that party girl and her global conquests!
But what I’ve come to see of the story is there needs to be more “there” in there. More emphasis on my liquid foes in the context of my travels overseas. What connects all these flailing arms?
The deep dark truth. The one at the bottom of the ocean where the octopus really live.
So I’m going there. And I have pretty good idea what I’ll emerge with: all the stuff I was afraid to say. How water and wine ebbed and flowed everywhere I went. And how I managed to turn those tides in the desert nation of Abu Dhabi.
The Octopus Club isn’t merely a dance club on the shores of Lake Victoria. The Octopus Club is the very real story of a very liquid life in no man’s land.
(Special thanks to Simi and Priya for coming with me.)