Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sunny and hot
We’re in the midst of another heat wave – temperatures in the 90s and climbing. Ick.
Day 21 of Home OM on Kemmyrk.
Yesterday was just A Day. And not one I want to repeat any time soon.
I’m just preparing to sit down to write when the phone rings. It’s the wonderful new super, warning me that they’re going to blast the brickwork right outside my windows. All day.
Now, you know how I am about repetitive machine noise.
And, I had the beginnings of a migraine.
At least he warned me.
Then, the phone rang, the doorbell rang, on and on and ON. I ignored as much as I could, because if I cave in to interruptions, I have no one to blame but myself. Too damn bad – if you’re not dying, it’s not an emergency to me, and I am not getting up from the desk.
I recently asked a well-published writer with 50 novels to her credit how she did it. She told me that she figured out what she needed in order to write and cut the rest out.
I need to be that ruthless.
On the one hand, I like being part of an active life. I couldn’t be in the theatre otherwise. But I also need an amazingly large amount of solitude. It’s hard to honor both.
I worked on the articles until I couldn’t stand the blast work even with the music coming through the headphones (needless to say, I didn’t get as much done as I needed to). I decided I’d pack things up and go to the library to work for a few hours in longhand – and then the computer crashed.
The rest of the day was spent getting it back up and running, doing all the patches, diagnostics, and other tests.
EVERY time I’m on deadline, Microsoft fucks me that way. The minute I need reliability, it fails me. I’m sick of it. Instead of pouring his money into Africa, Gates should be designing software not designed to self-destruct. Oh, wait, then he wouldn’t be making the kind of money he is so he can pour it into Africa.
I’ve got the system back up and running (through sheer stubbornness, not talent). I hope to get the deadlined articles done (plus an article on Bernadini for FemmeFan) today and tomorrow, and then get the Geek Squad in here next week to sort out the system. Maybe if it gets a thorough sorting, it will limp along for a few more months until I can buy the type of Mac system I need to do everything I need it to do and switch everything over (I’ll hire Geek Squad to do the transfer). I’d rather wait until I can get the best system I need, rather than what I always end up having to do, which is replace a dead system with whatever I can afford.
While I ran diagnostics, I re-read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night, which I first read about a dozen years ago. I still like it a lot, but it’s interesting how my perceptions and base of knowledge have changed over the past dozen years. The words, of course, remain the same on the page. My response changes.
Stories continue to swirl around my head. Other than making notes for them, I’m sticking to my rule of not working on the fiction until these articles are done. It’s hard – the fiction is shrieking to get written. But the articles are deadlined, contracted, paying work. When the fiction brings in the same kind of money, the fiction will get priority.
I know what I want to write for the Painting Exercise, and the two stories that I need to rewrite from the Ten Week Exercises are starting to re-form in my head. This morning, I outlined an odd little piece which may become a YA novel. I can’t imagine it could run more than 65,000 – 75,000 words – although there are some very odd plot twists and I’m braiding three sets of story together. It’s a fantasy, but grounded in some odd realities. I’m wondering if that’s a more viable piece for NaNo than either Amadeus Doe or The Combo Project. I still have a few months to make that decision.
Rupert Pole died, out in California. For those of you wondering who is Rupert Pole?, he was one of Anais Nin’s two simultaneous husbands. (Yes, I know, I can’t get the two dots in her name to post). Anais Nin is an interesting figure in writing. She is most famous for her diaries, and was/is considered a feminist icon from the late 1960s/early 1970s.
My opinion of her is that women outgrow her. I was caught up in the fantasy she projected when I was in my early twenties. But the older I got, the more I learned about life and looked at her life – she could never be honest, not even in her diary, even as she raved on and on about honesty. Instead of creating fiction, the life was her fiction, and she presented it as reality. Simply sleeping with many men and writing a large diary does not, in my opinion, make one a feminist. She was ALWAYS catering to a man. She was married to two men who adored her, yet took all the energy (both emotional and financial) and poured it into her lovers. In my opinion, a feminist is someone who lives independently, choosing to live in an equal partnership, not in a series of dominant/submissive relationships, even if she alternates roles in those dominant/submissive relationships. It seems to me she got stuck in a groove instead of learning from it and moving on. She made some important contributions, especially to the craft of the journal. She also was incapable of what she claimed to seek – truth.
Truth is subjective, and reality is something separate, but she twisted the definitions of truth beyond even what most fiction writers could recognize.
At this point in my personal evolution, I find her more irritant than inspiration.
I better get back to work while the computer works or nothing will get done. And I’m on Day 2 of this damned migraine.