Sunday, August 1, 2010

Process, Possibly Painful

Not the writing itself, but the getting to where I can.

We are moving. This seemingly simple statement appears to actually be a euphemism for We are sitting in the house we're supposed to be moved out of, staring at a great many things that aren't even close to packed, many of which are breakable and have their own original boxes and packing, though we don't know where, and many of which are large, heavy and unwieldy (cats, for example, and entertainment units) and we're moving those and a major appliance and all the stuff in the kitchen. I predict, with optimism, that we will finish our move in 2015. Late 2015.

In the meantime, I'm writing around the move as best I can. Not because I'm wonderful and dedicated and all that, but because of a recent awakening that shook me up and that I don't believe I've chronicled here and therefore should, because it was definitely process-intensive and shook me up.

But I am writing. More than usual. 2000 word days when I can, and a lot of swearing when I can't. And what amazes me is the number of things that come up to stop it. This past week I wrote 4896 words on Tuesday and 3019 words on Wednesday. Thursday I had several short articles due, and every intention of doing them within a specific time frame, doing some moving and errands, having midnight tea with another night owl (we meet by phone Thursday night or Friday morning at midnight and drink tea and talk.) Furthermore, the short articles I was doing were actually due on Friday, but I was doing them Thursday in order to take Friday to do nothing other than a lunch meeting and FICTION.

So here's what really happened. The schedule I'd set for myself - the how long errands had to take, the unpacking and refilling of a bookcase at the new house, the driving home again to the current/old house - all that took only 30 minutes longer than I'd budgeted, which was fine. Some of the other stuff for that day was random and didn't have to be done right then. But the short articles I'd figured would be done after I talked to Rick on his "lunch" break (8:30 p.m. and why don't they just call it dinner?) and before talking to the midnight friend and afterwards I'd have a treadmill run AND do a little fiction on Thursday, too.

Nope. The articles which should have been done in three hours (they're specific, have very controlling guidelines, and are very short) took six. The midnight tea was shorter than usual, but between the extra 30 minutes everything else took, and losing three hours on the articles, I had 50 minutes left when I finished and, logically, since my brain was tired and the stories required catching up to where I'd been, I gave up and watched "Friends" until Rick got home.

OK, I can deal. I'm grouchy, because not writing on the day before an all-day-for-writing day means it balances out word-count-wise and is kind of a waste of time. The all day fiction is still wonderful, but it doesn't really up my word count for the week. Still, I was looking forward to Friday.

So here's what happened to Friday.

Friday I woke after 5 hours sleep (we didn't get to bed till after 5 a.m. and I'm very tired of the nocturnal thing, not to mention just very tired) so I could shower and make the 40 minute drive to the lunch. The lunch itself was good in some ways, in that more was accomplished or at least will be and the magazine it was for is doing better than I thought, so all in all I'm glad I went, but curious about some of it. Several people had to leave between 1:00 and 1:30 and the published didn't start talking actual publishing things until then. For the majority of lunch, it was just lunch. I had figured on 90 minutes tops, and it was 150 - 2 and 1/2 hours. Granted, good things happened for me and the nonfiction (pays the mortgage) writing in that last hour, but I had intended to leave at 1:30, run by the new house briefly and be home by 3:00. Writing.

That didn't happen. At all. I didn't get to the new house until 3:00, and once there, sick of fighting to get to the fiction*, I chose to head over to the Humane Society and spend some time both scoping out who to talk to for an upcoming article and petting a bunch of cats.

(*Sometimes when I fight, fight, fight all the things that need doing and want doing and so on to get to the fiction, the fiction feels put out and just sulks once I'm there. I'm not sure if this falls into the category of the way once I get caught up recording rejections for stories more come in [a bit magic] or if it's just that sometimes when I have to keep dealing with reality, it's harder to fall into fantasy. But it happens more than I'd like.)

Just before I got to the Humane Society something caused me to look at the horrid truck's dash displays. Rick says I must have noticed something, or heard something, without being aware. But something made me look, and the truck was running just a whisker away from the red. Amazingly hot. As well, it was 3:22 or so, and he starts work at 3:30, which meant he'd already be in Herlong, but he wasn't actually working. So I parked in the county complex and called him promptly and he told me how to do a great many things I didn't know how to do - checking things, opening things to begin with, etc. - whereupon I was able to report back that the coolant in the overflow container was actually boiling and spitting through a hose to nowhere that was attached to the overflow.

The long and short of which is that he drove back from Herlong, forsaking the Friday overtime day, and I wish it could have happened at 2:30 when he'd been in Reno, but of course I was still at the meeting and antsy and trying to leave. And I went into the Humane Society and talked to a lot of cats and a lot of people and spent the hour I'd likely have spent there and Rick came back and did things to the truck and took it home with me driving the car which, though it's mine, now felt like sitting in a deep, dark hole - one gets used to the tall of a truck.

I was giddy happy all of Friday night, having him home. I made pizza and we watched "The Bourne Identity." But there was no fiction and only a few hundred words Saturday when I had an off moment.

There was, actually, a point to this but I can't identify it now. Perhaps persistence (someday I will tire of this alliteration), though I didn't win through. I was so happy having Rick home I didn't write Friday (I can't write when he's home anyway) and only wrote something like 350 words Saturday while he was washing the truck. Today we're going to the new house and I have half a mind to pull out the laptop that's already there and play with a novel proposal while he drywalls a beam, but it wont work. Reality says I'll be interrupted too often and the idea is crazy-making.

Maybe my point is nothing more than this: Sometimes not writing is not your fault. Next post: When not writing was absolutely my fault.

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