Just as I promised myself, I finished Prague for Beginners on December 24th. The date was chosen so that I could proofread and edit it once more before I send it to my son to make into an e-book, all before the Spring semester begins at the college where I work.

Right away I dove into my next book, the novel I've been thinking about writing for a few decades. It has no title, and it's an untidy mess in my mind right now. Prague for Beginners is a straightforward narrative, a fictional memoir, with one narrative voice and one direction, with no flashbacks or sidetracks.

The new book is looking like this: multiple narrators, several points-of-view, overlapping timelines, various formats and a general impression of gathering and displaying rather than recounting and making a point, as in Prague for Beginners.

I have been considering how to market Prague for Beginners; in my mind, it's a coming-of-age novel, but that's not a very sellable category. It's also a bit of chick lit, something of a romance, and even (in some ways) in the category of historical romance, though those novels are more often set in some far-away time and disappeared place like the American frontier or Regency England.

Nor is  Prague for Beginners literary fiction, a catch-all that's too pretentious-sounding for my book, whose practical, down-to-earth narrator would giggle to find her story so labeled.

As you can see, I still have a number of questions to answer about Prague for Beginners. My new novel, I'm starting to see, will be even more of a puzzle. It is about hippies in the US in the 1970's a huge and sloppy topic, full of contentious ideas, madly conflicting definitions, opposing ways of living and much misunderstanding by people from outside. I have about ten pages written, but whether they stay where and as they are is unknowable.


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