Young Geoffrey (ed_rex) wrote,
Young Geoffrey

The Experiment

Missed 2 days of work this week. Saturday, felt as if I was coming down with a cold, woke Sunday with one of those flegmy, painful coughs and decided to return to bed rather than stagger into the office. Strangely, the cough largely disappeared very quickly and my nose barely ran at all. But I slept like Rip Van Winkle; from early Saturday night until Tuesday morning, I probably logged about 40 hours of dream-time.

Other than my almost super-human abilitity to sleep, the lack of physical symptoms though makes me wonder if my body was sick or if it was working with my hind-brain, which had informed it that I was stressed and needed a break.

In any event, it's now my "Saturday" and I feel reasonably good, certainly no sleepy.

All of a which is a long digression to the fearful topic at hand.

Many years ago, Harlan Ellison was one of my favourite writers. Not only did he write some powerful short stories, but he was a self-promoter, par excellence, painting himself as honest, fearless and heroic in defence of All Things Good. (Nevermind that I no longer believe the hype; he did write a few stories that will likely stand the test of time. But I digress.)

One of stunts Ellison pulled more than once, was to set himself up in a bookstore's display window and write a story on the spot, in public (original manuscript going to the customer who spent the most money that day, or some such thing). I've often thought that was a rather cool idea, though my *ahem* fame currently precludes much likelyhood that Chapters will be inviting me to "perform" among the candles and candies any time soon.


As some of you know, I have ostensibly been working on a novel for, er, quite some time. Truth is, mostly I have been thinking of working on said novel, rather than sitting down and doing the grunt-work.

So, the thought occurred to me that I often perform best under pressure. At this point in my "career", any such pressure must needs be self-inflicted.

And so, The Experiment.

The idea for The Valley of Shabathawan first came to me more than a decade ago and has been a dagger in my creative side ever since. One way or the other, I want to be done with it - done with it! - within 4 months. I figure the book will clock in at around 60,000 words. If I can average 1,000 words a day, that will give me two months to write it (again) and 2 to whip it into shape.

And you - you lucky people, you! - will have the "privilege" of being there while the job is being done. Day by day, 1,000 words by 1,000 (or so) words, you will have the dubious pleasure of watching me either fall on my face or produce a decent novel. Until further notice, comments will be welcome but not necessarily heeded or even responded to (I simply don't know how I'll react to reactions to a work-in-progress, having never done something like this).

That's really about it. I'm 39 years old. It's time to get to work.

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