2004-11-10

This Title Thing Ain't Gonna Happen Today

Novel Progress:

Opened Chapter 5, wrote 567 words. I am not going to beat myself up about this -- I'm well over my usual goal of 300 words (silly NaNoWriMo folks, I barely knew ya) -- and anyway, new chapters are always slow-going before I actually figure out structurally how they're gonna play out.

Story Progress:

Spent the morning before starting on Chapter 5 to make more notes for "Darlene." Sorry, folks, but Darlene is most definitely gonna die. It may not be written right yet, but it will be -- people kill themselves every day, and there's no reason it can't be made to work -- sure it's probably gonna make me crazy 'till I hit it, but Darlene dies, period. That's where she is at this point of her life, that's what she does. She can not go ride off into the sunset, and she can't go limp off into it, either. This chick is gonna make the boldest statement of her life at the end of it, and I am going to make it sing somehow, so there. Melodrama is less in the event than in the execution -- I once knew a man who shot himself dead through the mouth in his bedroom, where his grandsons later had to scrape his brains off the wall. His horse attended his funeral. It might seem melodramatic here, but that week it was anything but. It was just life, and it was awful, but it was real, and I believe that you could write that in a way that would read like damn good poetry, not cartoon.

So I just gotta reach for the poetry -- I have two 6-hr LA/NY flights coming up for Turkey Day, and there's nothing easier to carry-on and shove into the less-than-three-inches of space that constitutes "economy seating" (read: STEERAGE) than a twenty-five page story and a coupla pens.

And The Sorts of Things That Keep Me Up Nights:

Despite the previous paragraph, I have yet to find the right sort of pen for air-travel. I favor fast-flowing ink, as badly-treated Lyme's Disease in the early-80s has left me with achy joints, and worse, hands that lock-up damn fast if forced to grip a (gasp) ball-point. But air-pressure seems to explode my Rollerballs and the like ... if they don't leak all over me at 30,000 feet they destroy the inside of the purse they're in sometime between landing and baggage claim ...

And God knows, in a five-day trip that includes not only a full day with my family but also visits on two other days with various and sundry parents-o'-Husband, there oughtta be pen-worthy-fodder-a-plenty for the trip back.

2004-11-09

Day Two Curse Averted

Well, two days plunged into new process and water is still fine ... 1721 words today, and Chapter 4 complete -- though, as always, "complete" is grain-of-salt for "has beginning, middle, end, and reasonable arc, but still requires psychological deepening -- good enough, however, for this 'rush-thru' draft."

Have also spent a few minutes playing with the last paragraph of "Dirty Darlene," which still is not quite right, but will take to Husband and ask his opinion tonight. Darlene still dies, but it's clearer that it's a choice she makes -- as a friend said about another woman I knew who killed herself this summer: "she made it very clear that [death] was what she wanted."

And there but for the grace of Whomever go all.

2004-11-08

I Am Finally Back

Work took a tumble when state of union seemed perilously close to disaster. Disaster not quite averted but it has been survived, so I am back at the office today with renewed vigor and focus and all those other wonderful things, which, in my case, are the product of a brand new candle burning on my desk, and a clearer sense of "office schedule":

90 minutes on the novel, in hopes of reaching min. 300 words ...
30 minutes lunch and surf internet and answer emails
90 minutes back to the novel, or onto poems, stories, or notes for novel #2
30 minutes blog and administer writing life (read for group, or read for other friends)
10 minutes clean up office and back up work on disc and paper

That schedule instituted with the help of a timer today, I have written 1400 words on Chapter 4! Yippee!