Tom Waits: Orphans
: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards
. Thumbs up.
My new azure-blue thermal carafe that holds an entire pot of tea and keeps it hot for apparently interminable periods: Thumbs up
Cat: compaining about something.
Shower: still not fixed--good excuse to break out the stinky bath bomb and take a long hot bath.
Truck: still in the shop. Good excuse to order takeout tomorrow.
Shoulder: sore from working at the desk for a week, but recovering now that the laptop is back and I can switch between machines again. (One way to defeat RSI: change it up!)
Brain: still feeling scraped out with a soft rubber spatula, cranium polished to a fine gloss on the inside.
I need to make appointments with a masseur, an eye doctor, a dentist, and an accountant.
I wonder how long I can put off writing this novella and short story, and still have time to get them done before deadline? Because man, I am stupid
right now. I mean, I'm finding I can't focus on Watership Down
or a TV program for more than half an hour at a time, so I'm spending a lot of time fiddling around on the internets, cleaning the house, playing guitar, and yawning. I'm brain dead enough that I keep forgetting to eat, and then wondering why I feel so terrible.
About the only thing that Orson Scott Card ever said that I agreed with is that writing is a self-exhaustive act. And man, I have been going full-out since 2001, and I am indeed exhausted. Fortunately, there are no more new books to write this year, and only one next year, and if I am smart and careful with myself I can buy a little downtime. Dust
appears to have used up a good bit of my brain. Probably the biggest chunk of anything since Whiskey & Water
, which seems odd, because it's such a linear little book, and very straightforward. Far more linear and straightforward than is my wont, really.
Maybe it's deceptively simple, or something. I dunno: it seems to be a lot of stupid for something that's really kind of not the hardest thing I ever wrote, and that mostly went smoothly.
If you don't write books--you know the kind of intellectual and physical exhaustion that finals week produces? Or getting married, or something like that? That's kind of what the end of a novel is like for me. Like, the books fill up the entire space between my ears while I am writing them, and then when I am done there's nothing left but a few scraps of things that are what I need to put in or patch on the second draft.
That's the post-novel ennui that we joke about, and the E. Gorey described pretty accurately in The Unstrung Harp
. The longest I've ever been like this was after the second draft of both Carnival
and Whiskey & Water
, which were due within a month of each other and whch were, at that time, the hardest books I'd ever written. (Still are, and I hope they will remain so for a while, thanks.)
I more or less didn't write between December of 2005 and April of 2006. Admittedly, I had a lot of life stuff going on, too... but wow, yeah, it kind of kicks one's ass.
Not that I am complaining, mind you. That would be a little more self-absorbed than even I can manage. And I have The Best Job In The World.
Period. End of story.
Heck, I have about the best life in the world, the hole in my shower notwithstanding. If you told me when I was 25 that when I was 35, I wouldn't be able to think of a thing I would rather be doing, I probably would have laughed at you. Or collapsed in sobbing hysterics. (25 was not a particularly good year for me, by any standard.)
And yet, here we are.
But if you're wondering why you're not getting any signal out of me right now, just random sputters of fannishness and links, that would be why. Normal service will eventually resume.
Tired Out. Cannot Brain. Back L8R.
Screw it. It may only be 9:30 pm, but I'm enough of a grownup to decide that I can go to bed with the chickens if it suits me. See you all probably way too early in the morning...
Was it for this I uttered prayers,And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?
--Edna St. Vincent Millay