If I could travel back in time, let’s say six or seven years ago, I would go and create a time paradox by paying a visit to past me. Once the corporate-casual shitbird got done freaking out about coming face-to-face with his balding and significantly thinner future self, I would bitch slap him.

I would bitch slap him twice.

And while he was in the fetal position, I would bend over his shaking body and whisper:

“It’s only a first draft, numbnuts. No one gives a shit. Stop fucking around and finish it already.”

There’s a better chance than not past self would chalk up future self as an acid flashback and not listen because the little know-it-all son of a bitch didn’t listen to shit back then, especially not something generated by chemical residue.

Seriously, though, that’s the one piece of advice I wish I’d gotten and taken to heart:

Finish a first draft. Finish it and then start doing the real work.

But I think most writer folks have their wish list of things they wished they knew.

Quick weekend book recommendation: Cut You Down By Sam Wiebe 

Here’s the skinny from the publisher:

“Tabitha Sorenson is missing. The bright but unstable student disappeared in the aftermath of a scandal involving millions of dollars in college funds. Professor Dana Essex doesn’t think the missing money and the missing student are connected, but she hires Vancouver PI David Wakeland to find Tabitha, with whom she is in obsessed.

When Wakeland discovers Tabitha has in fact stolen the money and is hiding out with her lover and reports back to his client, Essex is crushed to learn that Tabitha is in love with someone else. The next morning, Tabitha has been murdered and Essex has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Wakeland has his own problems. His former girlfriend, police officer Sonia Drego, believes her partner is corrupt. With her job–and possibly her life–on the line, Wakeland may be her best hope of uncovering the conspiracy in the department before it brings her down.

Hounded by Tabitha’s friends, the police, the press, and his own troubled conscience, Wakeland tries desperately to find Essex and make sense of what happened. Could it all have been a ruse from the start, and is Wakeland just another in a long line of suckers?

While searching for Essex and investigating Sonia’s partner, Wakeland encounters criminals, anarchists, and crooked authority figures–all of them desperate people who will stop at nothing to guard their secrets.”

I’m normally not into PI fiction unless your name is Coleman, Lippman, or Bruen. But Wakeland’s a compelling character and the story’s great so far.

160 pages in and it’s a ton of fun.

Morning Soundtrack: Relatives In Descent By Protomartyr