Friday Check-in

Despite wishing I could stay home and drink hot cocoa and read novels all day -- rain, rain, and more rain here in sunny Los Angeles -- I got to the office and spent a coupla hours working on the Wedding Timeline, generating material for 2N. Am now printing that 35 page document at crawlingly slow deskjet speed (I knew there had to be a reason I picked up an HP for less than $300). Following that I need to print the 15 page Cancer Timeline, and the 28 page draft-in-prog of Dirty Darlene, all so I can lug this stuff to Meeker, where I look forward to some time in my old bed, papers spread all about, making more notes and more notes and more notes!


1. Create a comprehensive 2N table that tracks Cancer, Wedding, and Renovations simultaneously

2. Update Character Studies for 2N

3. Update 2N treatment, according to 2N table

4. Complete new draft of DIRTY DARLENE

Obviously, that's a lot to try to accomplish in 2 days on the ground, but considering I wasn't initially planning to write at all next week--which is why, of course, I've been dragging myself to the office this whole holiday-ish week--if I get any of this done at all, I'm ahead of the game.

Happy New Year, everybody. May we all accomplish great things.


Trucking Along

Pretty good session today. I missed yesterday because head cold has migrated south-chesterly and bronchial coughs prompted Husband to insist I stay in or at least on the bed. But all was not lost: I spent time among the pillows going through the monster Wedding Binder I assembled last year to assist in planning, and discovered I have a great resource for 2N: the 30-page checklist table I created to track progress.

So today I spent awhile generating the Wedding Plot Line for 2N, a project that should take me through tomorrow at least, and if I lug my laptop to Colorado next week, should busy me for awhile there, too. Would love to come home from Colorado with a working-ish 2N Comprehensive Outline that I can start writing from.

Also worked more on Dirty Darlene today. Want to come back from Colorado with a new draft of that, too.

Perils of shared office-space: someone is eating something FOUL that is coming through my vent. It smells like airplane-food crossed with school-cafeteria food, and as I've made a 29-year point of not indulging in either, I thank the gods that I managed to accomplish as much as I did before the stink began.


Through Wind and Snow ...

Ok, so it's not snowing in SoCal, but last night's thunderstorms were close enough. House leaking, AGAIN -- it wasn't enough I was up at 2 scrounging for cold meds, clearly Husband and I needed that 4 am rush to plug leaky windows with spare towels and packing tape. Plus the mysterous, constant ringing of the fax line, and the crashing about of trees overhead ... Suffice it to say, best intentions to be out the door at 6:30 am scuttled. I didn't make it out of the house until nearly 11 am, and didn't get to the office until 1. But I am giving myself full-credit for a 4-hour work-session, despite only putting in 2.5 hours, because of head cold, lack of sleep, and also:

I did good work.

Worked on SECOND NOVEL (hereafter "2N") outline, and researched Hodgkins disease, which afflicts one of my central characters. Have developed a table to track "normal" Hodgkins-treatment timelines against the timeline of 2N, so I have a sort of sense of what happens when, cancer-wise and plot-wise.

Tomorrow I do the same for wedding planning, which afflicts another of my central characters.

Thursday, I continue to fluff out outline, and then Friday morning I put together the quick, key-word table that tracks various plot lines against each other for easy comprehension for one who, mid-process, is usually very confused.

All this as an attempt to put together the master 2N Bible, a project I'm going to attempt to pull together even as I'm in Colorado next week.


Surfacing ...

6 weeks and 4 days later, I'm back in the office, renewed by all sorts of New Year's vigor post the election/birthday blues. I don't ever want to be turning 29 again, it was HORRIFIC, and thanks to rules of mortality and calendars, luckily I don't ever have to.

Quick updates from the depths of the last depressive month-plus:

Hart is dead. Long live Hart.
Have retired proverbial "first novel." I have done this before of course, but this time I think I'm really letting go of it--subject matter in that format is no longer of interest to me, so many years and drafts on. I have, of course, learned all matter of things about character, plotting, endurance, discipline, and of course, prose. My writing has come about a million miles from where I started on this project, back in the spring on '98. So all's not lost, really.

As for the "long live" part...
I've got a ton of story ideas set in and around The Hart School that continue to flood this consciousness, so I am working on a collection of those, instead of torturing myself with "first novel."

Meanwhile, I am moving on to what I will now refer to as Second Novel. It has a title, and a very good one at that, but I'm not sharing yet. (The story collection is also fabulously monikered, but like I said, there's a time for sharing, and that time ain't now.) Second Novel is much much more interesting to me, anyway, and has been for some time, so today I dove right in to the outline again, building building building. Plan for this week is to fluff outline until I feel okay to dive in to writing chapter one, which is plan for January.

Also in the cards for January is a "complete" story for the collection.

Have totally re-jiggered work schedule so that domesticity be damned. It's now 1 pm, I have been at the office since 9 am (following 7:30 walk, 8 coffee/journaling), and have accomplished great work on Second Novel outline and good work on Dirty Darlene story.

So there you go. Bravo to me. And with a head cold, to boot!