Letting the Rest Roll

Let it be known that I’ve been slacking off.  Really, I have.  I feel it.  Because I’ve needed to slack off, to be honest.

One, I’ve been tired a lot.  The last couple of nights I’ve taken sleeping pills–just one each night–to help me get through the night and not wake up at three-thirty AM with no chance of getting back to bed.  I’ve managed to get some sleep out of these nights, and even though I was awake at four AM needing to use the bathroom, I went right back to sleep and woke up only moments before the alarm went off.

Two, I’ve been distracted of late by wanting to do things, be it watch TV, read, get out of the house and travel–anything.  I’ve needed to change up my routine for some time now, and it’s great for recharging.  Tonight I’ll go out and do a little grocery shopping, and when that’s over I’m going to stop at Panera, get something to eat–probably a big bowl of soup–and then set up my computer and write.  I did this last week and plopped down a thousand words; I want to finish this scene I’m in, start on the next, and maybe finish it as well.  Because I’m moving ahead.

Annie's letting me know I better get her scene finished, because . . . well, because.

Annie’s letting me know I better get her scene finished, because . . . well, because.

And, admittedly, I enjoy the break.  Which leads into–

Three:  I’ve been feeling a lot burned out.  I’m two hundred and thirty thousand words into the novel, maybe two-thirds of the way through, and after ten months I’m ready for something else.  This is the doldrums part of the story, where you want to keep pushing, but you also want to do something else.  You’ve lived with these people for so long it’s like having guests who never go away, and just like you want the Guests Who Wouldn’t Leave to pack up their shit and move on, I’m ready for another project.

Not that I hate what I’m doing, but like anything else where you do it over and over every day, it starts to wear you down.  I feel that what may be needed is an adjustment of schedules.  Set aside the time I need to do something, and do it then.  I’m thinking Wednesday afternoon is going to become a new writing time for me for the next few months.  After that I’ll find something else to help with the time.

My fear is taking a break from writing for a week or two.  I’ve done that in the past, and when I have I’ve managed to take a month off and get back into things without a problem.  Then again, I’ve also taken a break that lasted years, and I don’t want that to happen.  Because I’ve got the story where I want it, and I don’t have time to take a year off from this project.  Sure, I might be able to get other things done, but I want to finish this story.

Let me correct that:  I need to finish this.

Because it’s too damn important to put to the side.  No matter how I feel right now.

Leaving the Make Believe Believable

I remember reading something a while back, something that had to do with arguing.  It is true that with some people, it doesn’t matter how well researched and put together your points are, because they will ignore your point of view and keep pushing their stuff at you over and over, whether it’s the topic at hand or not.  When reading about this, there was a quote offered that pretty much summed up the futility one might face trying to deal with someone who isn’t listening, but rather keeps on talking.  The quote was something like, “Don’t take my sudden silence as proof you’ve won.  It only means I can no longer take your bullshit.”

I ran into something similar to that yesterday, when a point I was trying to make was met by a lot of hoary old talking point that had little to do with what I was trying to say.  After the second time the same points came back at me I gave up the ghost on the argument–which didn’t address anything I was saying–because at some point you realize that no matter what you say, it’s gonna come back to rehearing something that could have been taken from a paragraph found in one of the fifty page admonishments of John Galt.

Strangely, I was thinking of this when I was working on Chapter Sixteen of Suggestive Amusements last night.  My characters were using talking point on each other as they walked through the Valley of Fire, but the discussion between them was as such:  Elektra, one of my female characters, was telling her erstwhile boyfriend, Keith, my main male characters, that his in-world logic was bullshit.

Early on in the story it’s established that Keith is a long-time resident of Las Vegas, while Elektra comes from “Scorpionville, New Mexico”, and she couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Keith has decided that he’ll leave Las Vegas one day, after he’s made it “big” as a writer.  Along comes Elektra, who has used a bit of her wanderlust to move west, young girl, and she tells Keith that his mindset is holding him back, that he’ll never be a “big time writer” because he’s stuck in Las Vegas, and maybe he needs to get the hell out of Lost Wages and gather a fresh perspective on life if he wants his stories to soar.

I know this feeling, because I’ve been there myself.  I’ve said a number of times in the last five years that I need to get out of my little corner of Indiana.  At one time I said I’d cut and run the moment I hit it big, but that was like twenty years ago, and I’m still here.  I still want to leave one day, but I wonder if it will really happen . . .

Because most of last year I was working in another city for the first time, and I didn’t handle it well.  There could have been a number of reasons for that, but had it not been for my writing, I might not have made it out . . . in one piece is the best way to describe the situation.

Was I writing about the plight of a fictional character?  Or was I putting too much of myself there?

If so the later, what should I do about it?

I do love the desert, after all.

The Silent Howl

Today I’m blank.  I really am.

This is one of those mornings where there is nothing coming to the forefront, that I’m not feeling inspired to do something.  Trying to come up with a title–not much luck this morning.  That’s one think I always do:  get a title before I do anything else.  There are a few writers who do that, or at least used to do that.  One of the few stories I didn’t do that with was Kuntilanak; another was Captivate and Control.  Funny thing is, both of those stories are published, while other stuff is languishing in the computer.

Which reminds me:  today I find another publisher to whom I can send Her Demonic Majesty.  It’s been two weeks since I received the rejection notice, and that’s two weeks that the story hasn’t done anything but gather electronic dust.  Can’t let them sit around and do nothing, can we?  After all, if you do, then you find they can’t bedazzle an audience.  They do no one any good if the only people who see them are you, and your close circle of friends.

No, it has to get out there, because, damn it, it’s a good story.  It doesn’t do to keep it locked away.  It will see the light of day.

There was more action on the Diners front as well.  I was intending to get some real time on it last night, but I was phoned, and then I was PMed, and before you knew it, I was pushing 9:30 PM and I needed to do some fast writing.  The funny thing is, I was sort of rambling as bit.  When I think about what I wrote last night, it makes me think that I may have said the same thing a couple of times, only in different ways.  Why?  Distractions.  I get that.  I get that a lot these days.

Part of the issues I have at the moment–the lease is coming up on The Undisclosed Location.  They want to give me a break on another six months, but I’m not ready for that.  I think I’m going to do another month, and then see what happens.  I have to speak with the people after work today, get that into motion . . . then back to this hole to do whatever it is I do at night when I’m not doing anything else.

My mental state isn’t the best, I know that.  I’m writing better when I’m back up to The Real Home.  A lot of it is just the environment.  When I need a break, I can always come downstairs and talk with someone, or flip on the TV, or just go take a nap if I need it.  Here, I can’t do that.  There is no getting away from what I have.  As my Muse might say, “It is what it is.”

It’s solitary, is what it is.  But when I came here, I knew it would be.  I’ve done a lot here, there is no hiding that.

But I can do more.

It’s time to move forward.