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
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.