It's weird writing November in the Northeast while living May in the Southwest.
truepenny is to blame for this. (Okay, she informs me that heresluck is to blame. *spreads it around*)
So! They laugh at my boner, will they?! I'll show them!
That's not why they laughed you out of the Academy, Joker...
And, since it seems to be a theme of the day, keelywolfe wants to know, "Have you seen Nightwing's crotch lately?" (I'm picturing the milk cartons. It hurts.)
I have reached the part of the book where the whole thing feels like a sideshow plate-spinning exhibition, like it's all I can do to keep running from one end of the table to the other tic tic tic tic keeping those buggers going, and if I trip or miss a step or hit one a little too hard or not hard enough, or I just don't see it starting to wobble, it's all going to come crashing down on my head in a thunder of sherds and shards and broken bits. And the thing is, it's not like you can hit them in predetermined sequences, because they don't always start to wobble right when you'd expect, but sort of variably.
But they gotta be kept going until it's time for them to come down--and when they come down, they have to come down all at once. Crash! That's what I'm talking about.
Meanwhile, I'm running back and forth like a fool with her pants on fire, trying to keep those suckers going and make it look like I meant to do that. And I have no idea how I'm going to get out of this mess alive.
Which is good, because the reader shouldn't, either. And half the fun is expecting me to drop the damned things on my noggin. So with a little luck, it means I'm doing something right.
It's still a little daunting, though.
This is the Dreaded Middle Of The Book. And, as we all know, books have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.
Although I just now thought of something clever and I am very proud of it. (Cleverer than my trick of balancing POV sections by making each one a different color.) I have like seven plot threads going in this novel and it's hard to keep track of them and what I've done and where and what time it is and what day it is--
And I just realized.
If I mark the scene break # before each scene with Word's "comment" function, and comment with a timestamp and the first line of the scene--I have, more or less, an instant at a glance outline of everything I've written.
The good news is, as truepenny says (or was it me?), "Writing is not a performance art." And if I drop them all over the place, well, that bit can get left on the cutting room floor.
Progress notes for 7 May 2005:
Whiskey & Water
New Words: 575
Total Words: 66,165
Pages: 300 This sucker is so not getting finished in time for the end of WriYoFuFMo. But we're trying. Yes, we're trying.
Reason for stopping: too exhausted to think straight
Mammalian Assistance: The big dog just came over to wipe his eye snot on my shirt. He loves me.
Stimulants: one frozen pomegranate margarita and a lot of tea.
Exercise: gothercised last night, and will probably gothercise again
Today's words Word don't know: n/a
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour: She wore marigold Converse All-Stars laced up her skinny ankles, the holes frayed where the grommets had been picked out, black socks bunched around the tops.
Books in progress, but not at all quickly: Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver;
Books read: Ed Sanders, Tales of Beatnik Glory; Elizabeth Bear, Worldwired; Lillian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who Talked Turkey;
Interesting research tidbits of the day: western diamondback snakebite (ew. necrotic arm. you have been warned.)
Other writing-related work: And then I outlined the 46 scenes of Whiskey & Water I have written already--so I could see at a glance what I already had on paper--managed a rough arc for the next three or four chapters, and worked out some of how the end works. So, despite a miserable wordcount, and the fact that I'll probably not be home to do much writing tomorrow between work and other stuff, I got an enormous amount done today. It just doesn't look like it on the stat sheet.
I also checked the last 200 pages of the Worldwired proofs last night. I think I may be getting the hang of this writing thing. And then, this morning, I emailed the changes in to my lovely editor, Anne. And then I had a good sit down and read for a while.
It's always a bit odd to say goodbye to a book. The next time I see it, it'll be an ARC and cover flats, trying on shoes for the prom. It sort of passes out of my hands and into the world's.
I was thinking about the writer thing yesterday. It's so hard believing it's real. I mean, of course, there's still the day job, and the chronically being overworked, and all that jazz. But it's really weird to find myself actually doing something that I've been working on since I was twelve or thirteen. Twenty years of trying, and then suddenly here it is. Dude, I write books that people make fun of on the Internet.
What a great freaking job. How did I get so lucky?
Even when I'm stuck in the Dreaded Middle of the Book. And I can't figure out what the hell to do with Donald now.