No Fig Newtons either

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And why is the White Hen across the street out of the single sleeve of Fig Newtons? (There’s a Brian Regan joke here. You know, the one about “two sleeves.”) Two sleeves would kill me. I only wanted one sleeve. So that I would be half-dead in the morning and not all dead. Because (a) I have no self-control and (b) they’re Fig Newtons. I would eat both sleeves.

Writer’s food. Distract me with tales of the nibblies you keep at hand when you write. I’ve got the caffeine energy drink du jour and a Twix bar. (Well, I had a Twix bar. Gone already. See? If it had been a sleeve of Newtons, I’d still have a few.)

Denied!

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Okay, so I’ve written not one new word in the last three hours. Sure, I’ve poked at some of the older words, cleaned up the embarassing bits and focused a few conversations a bit better. But new words? Nada. Shouldn’t have flapped my gums earlier today about finishing tonight. Jinxed myself. Of course, the fact that I’ve been dreading writing Chapter XXXI since I started this rewrite has nothing to do with my stall tactics AT ALL. Nothing, I tell you.

God, it’s just staring at me. “XXXI” “XXXI”

If I was home, I’d go pull the cat’s tail. That always works.

They need to put speed and LSD in hotel mini bars. I can get a Snickers bar and a Coke across the street for a quarter as much as the hotel wants. If they’re going to over-charge me for stuff, why couldn’t it at least be things that I’d have to, you know, endanger myself to obtain. Isn’t that the point of “hotel ammenities”? Fucking room service menu sucks here too.

“XXXI”

Now I’m really putting it off. Maybe I’ll go watch the rest of The Cell. Purty.

Progress Report – Vital Signs Check

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In Chicago right now at Oracle training (RMAN – whoooo!), living la vida loca on a 2-hour timeshift. Training is all of a ten minute walk from my hotel so my usual 2 hour commute (one way) is, well, time I’ve stolen back from the gods.

8000 words last night. I think. It’s hard to remember. 2am (local) when I quit. Slept in until 8am (8!!). Felt like a lazy SOB for lying in bed so long. Still had an hour to read the paper and watch people.

Jesus. I spend 4 hours commuting every day. Sure, nearly two of that is writing time and another hour of it is exercise, but still. 4 fucking hours.

I’m three chapters from the end. Maybe 4 if I drag it out. I could finish tonight. At which point I’ll start drinking everything in the mini bar and watching porn on the TV. I’m on an expense account after all.

Where Silence = Writing

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Fiddling away with the stacks on my desk. Taxes, for one. Done for a week now. I just need to decide if I’m going to join the 21st century and file electronically. For an Internet-junkie, I am surprisingly loath to make this transition. Not quite sure why, though it might have something to do with the continuing trend of fumble-fingeredness on our governmnet (okay, there, my political commentary for the year).

Of course, now I’ve sent it so it’s all moot.

Anyway, cleared the 70K mark on SOULS today, pushed over the edge with a massive cut and paste from the previous version. Starting to zero in on the finale. Got a few more things to blow up, a journey through darkness to write and a final dizzying ascension into the delightful nothingness that is COMPLETION.

Ah, enough here. I’ve got writing to do. Continued silences on this front only mean one thing: words and stories elsewhere. This is a good thing.

[Completely tangentially to everything here but the soundtracks that go with writing is that Darrin Verhagen (Mr. Shinjuku Thief) has a new record out. Called Devolution, it supposedly marries the noise of E.P.A. with the chaotic soundscapes of his other work. In a word: w00t!]

Finishing and Procrastinating

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SOULS OF THE LIVING

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
56,120 / 98,356
(57.1%)

New Words: edits
Total Words (pages): 56,120 (281)

Finished the line edits of the first three fifths today. Burned through a hundred pages or so over the course of the week (an extra three hours of Starbucks time yesterday certainly helped). So, all that done and here I am at the blank page again. You would think during the course of the last two week crawl I would have actually “read” the book, but attention spent on the micro-level has left me bereft of much sense of what actually went on. In all the talking and shit.

Some day I will actually read this book. Probably when I’m ninety and discover an old dog-eared paperback on the back of someone’s toilet under a stack of US magazines. The cover and first few pages gone, I’ll get forty or so pages in before I realize why it seems so familiar.

But, in the meantime, I’m back to forward motion. Have an interesting chapter to write next. A lot of new stuff, followed by serious hacking. Dropping at least one whole chapter in the next few days. Down the drain, bye-bye. Good riddance. It was a fun idea but it puts in too much scientific talking-out-my-ass world-building that I’m going to have to live by later. And, why make rules that you’re going to hate adhering to?

Shot my way through the end of F.E.A.R. this evening as well. The world is safe again (as is my snoozing wife, all tangled up in pillows on the couch next to me, she has no idea how many bad guys I’ve dealt with in the last hour) and I am out of things to procrastinate with.

Oh, wait, taxes. Ah, that’ll suck up the weekend. 🙂

What I Did At Lunch Today

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So I’m wrapping up the dream sequence in Chapter 12 and it finishes up with a perversion of the Aeon card (from the tarot) wherein a cherubic demiurge is raping the world. My MP3 player is on random play but what is it offering up when I wrap the scene? PIG’s “God Rod.” Yeah, it’s the sort of tingle in the fingertips that needs to be washed off.

I’m going back to my desk now to work on a mySQL sort statement. Not so dirty.

Progress of the Slow Steady Sort

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The book is hovering just around 57K as I continue to do line edits. I’ve been averaging about 10 pages a day. I don’t like the math that comes from that number but that’s been the reality. Managed to sqeak out 22 pages yesterday. That pace — if I can find the time — will finish me in about a week and I can get back to forward progress. I’d like be there, but someone’s got to line edit this thing. (Er, well, someone did. My mother, bless her retired professorial heart, bloodied the manuscript extensively during her visit last week.) It’s been a very educational process, this picking apart of my style and analyzing why it lies there like a dead animal instead of cavorting about the room like a squirrel on speed. This has been time well spent, but man, I’d really rather be doing 20 pages a day. 🙂

We’re planning on painting the dining room this weekend so tonight is priming night. It’s one of the smaller spaces to be done but it’s full of edges and angles and molding. Parts will be very time-consuming. A steady hand and all that. [Note to self: don’t get hopped up on caffeine today.] That will mostly finish the downstairs (but for the front sitting room, but since that has been filled with crap since the day we’ve moved in, I continue to forget that it is there). Actually a little more than half of the house is done. Next up is Widget’s room (the guest bedroom that has been reclassified as 2nd Child’s room since said second is on the way) and that’ll leave us with two bathrooms and a hallway to do. We might even finish before we think about moving out.

And the front room that, now that I’m thinking about it, would make a great room to spread out the manuscript and a couple of white boards to do the detail / plot thread walkthrough that needs to be done. Hmmmm….