The sequel to ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’ is going well. I cranked out almost 5000 words in the last three days, and most of them are keepers. The book is going to be an amalgamation of a few of my Italian rafting seasons in the early part of the 2000’s, so it won’t be a true linear storyline of real life events. More like an interpretation.
However, I have struck upon a pot of gold, a true blast from the past. Back in 2003 when I made the decision to stay in Italy full-time, my first winter was a little bereft of work. To whit, I didn’t have any. I sat in a cold mountain cottage with my Italian girlfriend at the time and I did the only thing I could do – I wrote.
I wrote over 170 pages of material before I finally ran out of steam, and all of it was a dramatization of the events at the rafting base the previous season. The events were fresh in my mind and I got them down.
And I found that old manuscript, and it’s dynamite.
Don’t get me wrong; as far as writing ability goes a good deal of it is bad and some of it is downright awful. But what’s left is very good indeed. I reread it last night and I had tears of laughter on numerous occasions. That’s got to be a good sign if I was the one who wrote it in the first place.
But the real dynamite is the sequence of events. It goes down into great detail of the petty insecurities, the dramatic jealousies, the feuds, the love affairs, and the bitter confrontations. And that’s just in the guide’s house.
There was no way that I could recollect events to this level of detail, it’s just too long ago. The events in ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’ were more general in scope apart from a few key scenes, and these had been such a big deal that they were literally imprinted on my brain. But the stuff I have now in my hands from over 12 years ago just jumps out of the page.
The challenge will be to incorporate it with what I have already, as well as to keep the freshness of events for the rest of the season. For the manuscript finishes at a point in the season when things are just getting going. I got to the end of it last night and I literally cursed aloud at myself. Why the hell hadn’t I gone on with this all those years ago? It’s frustrating, but it’s a good challenge. And I think it’s going to make a great book.