?

Log in

43,772; My New Lucky Number and, And One Masturbating Vampire - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

[ Website | Edifice Rex Online ]
[ Info | livejournal userinfo ]
[ Archive | journal archive ]

Links
[Links:| EdificeRex Online ]

43,772; My New Lucky Number and, And One Masturbating Vampire [Mar. 9th, 2008|05:03 pm]
Young Geoffrey
[Tags|, ]

I've often played little games of self-manipulation - setting the clock ahead and then pretending the displayed time is correct in hopes of making it into the office on a regular basis; loudly predicting that les Canadiens will lose a hockey game so that the Hockey Gods (who, apparently, are of such a low level of intelligence as to make the Gods of Asgard look like an ale-reeking troupe of Shakespeares and Einsteins); and in general, low-balling my expectations of good fortune so that, if they do not come to pass I can comfort myself that I was right or, if by some miracle what I want does happen, I will swallow the bitter pill of Error with a ladle of honeyed Victory.

Today has been a day of procrastination, of "sharpening my pencils", as they said in the good days. Not by intent, I hasten to assure you.

It began as Sundays often do, with The Toronto Stars ridiculously easy - but big! - crossword (and yes, with the rest of the paper), most of a pot of coffee and a breakfast that left me feeling remarkably bloated - I say "remarkably", because honestly, a one-egg omelet, half-grapefruit, two slices of bag, 1 slice of toast and a small side of baked beans isn't that much food in North America in 2008 - is it? Well, I suppose it goes some ways towards explaining my new, relatively svelte shape. But I digress.

I sat down at the the ol' keyboard, determined to put in my 1,000 words before getting back to the Hunt for the (Latest) Love of My Life - or even a temporary cuddle-buddy (yes, I love euphemisms as much as more than the next guy). But decided to check my friends' page before getting down to work.

And that damned sabotabby had to go posting about some discussions of Leonard Cohen which, in a not-all-that roundabout way led me to the SF writer Elizabeth Bear's LJ, which in turn saw me spend literally hours reading a year-old discussion about possible sexism in the SF field over at nightshadebooks.com, of which I had previously been entirely unaware - Nightshadebooks, that is; well, and the discussion as well. (Also, if you're wondering about the masturbating vampire, see Bear's column over at Subterranean Press. Another site of which I had had no knowledge.)

But I digress again.

Long story short, I didn't get my 1,000 words written today. And yet, I am feeling much better now about the novel than I was when I was deliberately procrastinating.

For the last week or so, I've been telling people that I was "closing in on" (or words to that effect) the 35,000 word-mark of what is tentatively called The Jewel of Eternity (title almost certainly going to be changed!), and felt like I was being, well, a trifle optimistic in saying so.

But, sharpening yet another already-honed metaphorical pencil, I decided to do a proper word-count. And ...

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the wonders that can come of downplaying one's expectations: 43,772!

To say the number shocked me would not be an understatement. Nor that it made me suddenly feel much better about the project than I had been. I have been more and more falling victim to Imposter's Syndrome, that belief the one is living a lie and might at many moment be called on it. That shadow still hovers at my back but its power is now much diminished.

Naturally, a lot of words doth not a good book make; nor even half a book. But discovering one is 10,000 words further along than one had thought is nevertheless very Good Medicine indeed.

I am also sticking to my vow not to read what I have written until the first draft is complete. As I think I've said before, this course of action naturally adds to my anxiety about the novel's quality, but continue in my belief that to do otherwise would be a recipe for unmitigated disaster.

And that's about it, really. Unless you care that for the second time in a week I dreamed that I was once again gainfully employed. In this one, for some reason, the boss brought in the best chocolate cake I it had ever been my pleasure to consume. That was actually the only time I can remember having a dream in which taste (and what a taste!) was an actual tactile sensation.

All right. That really is it.


Post-scriptum: To all of you bitching about the winter: Shaddap! This is Canada, folks; we're supposed to have snow on the ground in March - and plenty of it! Besides, we're not likely to see this kind of wonderful wintery wonderland again for a good long time. Find a hill and slide down it, or something.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2008-03-10 01:56 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, the discovery of the "Hallelujah" article that sparked the whole Cohen love-fest on my LJ was what prevented me from being productive today.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-10 02:08 am (UTC)

I'm Glad of It, Actually

Speaking of that love fest, even as a straight male, I have to say, that man is sexy! Unbelievable.

And besides Cohen, I'm really pleased I discovered Bear and her various blogs - I'm going to have to look up her work.

So: I'm actually feeling pretty good, all things considered (though I wouldn't be if that word-count had been significantly lower).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2008-03-10 02:11 am (UTC)

Re: I'm Glad of It, Actually

Oh, go read Carnivale. I'd love to hear your take on it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-10 03:14 am (UTC)

Re: I'm Glad of It, Actually

It doesn't have a teenaged female protagonist, does it? Mine does, so I'm trying to avoid those.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2008-03-10 03:18 am (UTC)

Re: I'm Glad of It, Actually

Two middle-aged gay men and a middle-aged woman. You're pretty safe.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-10 03:44 am (UTC)

Re: I'm Glad of It, Actually

I actually picked up something by someone called Tricia Sullivan called Maul the last time I was at Bakka that looked pretty interesting (and was on their recommended reading stand by the cash; the last I took a chance on it, I was rewarded with Peter Watts' pretty brilliant Blindsight), then realized when I got it home that I couldn't read it until I've finished the first draft for that very reason.

So now it sits on my shelf, taunting me like a slice of oh-so delicious-looking chocolate cheesecase ...

Right. Time to pack it in.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sooguy
2008-03-10 02:20 am (UTC)
Congrats on the word count!

Your first read through of the draft should be eye opening.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-10 03:05 am (UTC)
I just hope it won't be eye-glazing - or worse.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chainsawhoney
2008-03-10 02:58 am (UTC)
YOU DIDN'T WRITE ABOUT CALLING ME
ACTUALLY I'M DRUNK SO I DIDN'T READ IT ALL
BUT FUCK I DIDN'T SEE MY NAME
SHITFACE
sorry about today actually<333
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-10 03:09 am (UTC)

No Worries ...

Actually, I thought about it, but made an editorial decision not to mention it. I thought I was already being pretty obscure.

No worries about today. I felt kind of bad I didn't stick it out longer - especially since I didn't end up doing any writing. I hope things are looking up for you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jade_noir
2008-03-11 03:15 pm (UTC)

Where does Ed find the money for rent I wonder...

Why not re-read the previous pages before continuing?
When I paint, I spend a lot of time thinking about the painting and going back through my mind of what worked, what didn't and what I need to accomplish. I don't understand this method of writing.

Cohen 3> fest. I gotta get in on that.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jade_noir
2008-03-11 03:15 pm (UTC)

Re: Where does Ed find the money for rent I wonder...

*<3 fest
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jade_noir
2008-03-11 07:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Where does Ed find the money for rent I wonder...

In response to the other person's Leonard Cohen post:

I agree.
That's why God made the art of covering songs.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-03-11 09:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Where does Ed find the money for rent I wonder...

My worry is that I'll get so bogged trying to make the language right, that I'll end up forever re-writing chapter one instead of finishing the actual novel.

I suspect the difference between painting and writing, especially a long story, is that one can take a painting in at a glance, whereas you have to read a novel linearly.

Not every writer works this way, but at least quite a few do. The first draft is probably analogous to preparatory sketches for a painting; you don't - and in my case at least, shouldn't - worry about the details but about the over all shape of the thing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)