March 27th, 2005

bear by san

Steam, steam, a hundred bad dreams

First off, thank you very much to everybody who offered felicitations on the week's various good news. Second, happy Easter, if you celebrate it. Lent is over. Go do something unhealthy. Enjoy.

Third, if I keep listening to all these train songs, fiction is going to happen, and the last thing the world needs is another ghost train story. Darn you, stillsostrange! Darn you to heck!
  • Current Music
    John Hammond - Clap Hands / Peter Mulvey - Clap Hands
bear by san

(no subject)

Today's misheard lyric that was better the other way: "Slide, slide, Lucifer fell down / all the way to Baltimore and running out of time." (this misheard lyric special for misia)

progress notes for 27 March 2005

Carnival

New Words: 2417 (that's two days' worth)
Total Words: 22,271
Pages: 104
Reason for stopping: End of scene I was revising, and the next two scenes need to be written from scratch. I'm not sure the crappy expositional dialogue is any better, but there's more of it

How is it that I seem to be able to just... leave huge pieces of story elsewhere? Also, I have discovered something ELSE annoying about this book. Not only does it refuse to be written in order, it wants to be written largely in longhand and then typed up. Bleh.
Mammalian Assistance: Marlowe stopped by.
Stimulants: herbal tea, and not nearly enough of it.
Exercise: walking and gothercise
Mail: Nice review of Hammered by leahbobet on the Bakka Books site.
Tyop du jour: "We don't animals," he said negligently. (Really, no way that could be funnier if I tried.)
Darling du jour: Kusanagi-Jones... gritted his teeth into an answering smile.
Books in progress: Ed Sanders, Tales of Beatnik Glory; Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver
Interesting research tidbit of the day: my spellchecker knows Circe, but not Medea.
Other writing-related work: Two subs packaged up. And oh look, there's slush. I'll get right on that... tomorrow.
  • Current Music
    Peter Mulvey - Clap Hands
phil ochs troubador

Maybe there's a God above, but all I've ever learned from love

is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

Looking over outline notes on a project, and here's one that in particular caught my eye: Also, figure out something to do with that damned unicorn left over from last book.

Heh. Tah dah.

My process in lights.

***

So, a conversation tonight with netcurmudgeon led me to thinking about how crazy one can get as a writer, and being self-employed, and that feeling one can get that any moment not spent writing is simply wasted, because one has to get as much done as possible, as well and as quickly as possible, or one is wasting one's potential. Especially in this era of multitasking, there's a sort of ideal that one should be doing everything at once, equally well.

Here's the secret. It doesn't work.

I'm a closure junkie. I hate writing books, but god do I love having finished them. I love knowing I have X number of books written, and I'm working on another one, and I want to be done with it so I can put it on somebody else's desk, and...

...get started on the next one.

*squeaks and runs on treadmill*

Huh. Look at that. I'm self-employed. The only person I have to justify myself to is me (well, ignoring the day job for the time being) and whoever is handing me a deadline, and I haven't missed one yet, she said with fingers crossed. (I once reviewed an entire copyedited manuscript in 24 hours. Don't ask.)

And the thing is, there will always be another book. If I live to be six hundred and six there will always be another book. So even if I write and write as fast as I can, I will never get to the bottom of the pile of manuscript pages, and the books I write won't be as good, frankly, as if...

...as if I got it through my head that this is a perfect application of the concept of mindful labor. Of working in the now, on the task before us, and not worrying about completing the task, or the task after that. Of work as meditation, of work as completion, of work as prayer. Of work as service, and service as meditation.

This is the thing that I do, because I am doing it, and because I am doing it, I am doing it well.

And the work will always be there in the morning.

Looked at that way, okay. I may never get it finished... but it's not like I'm going to run out of purpose in life.

  • Current Music
    K.D. Lang - Hallelujah / Bono - Hallelujah