Monday, November 04, 2002

Word Count: 3158.

It’s only November 4, and I’m already more than a full day’s work behind on NaNoWriMo. This after a weekend when I should have been able to pour out words. What happened?

I got a decent start writing Friday night. Saturday, however, I had errands and housework to do, followed by lunch with a friend of the family. Yes, I know I’m under house arrest until the 50,000 words are done, but this was a family commitment I couldn’t get out of. Sonja was swamped with homework and papers to write, and it would have been rude just to send Michele, so I had to go. I really did enjoy the company, which was pleasant, but it wasn’t getting the book written.

Immediately after lunch, Michele and I did our shift at the local women’s bookstore. That’s nominally 3 hours, but actually takes 4 with the closing-up procedures. I took my laptop along, but ended up writing only about 500 words. Had a very interesting talk with a member of the local Morris-dancing troupe. I’ve seen them performing, but this was the first time I’d gotten to talk to one. Again, a lot of fun but not getting the book written.

Saturday night we were scheduled to attend a party. I put my foot down at that. But I did have to drop Michele off, which meant getting supper while we were out and then finding the place. We wandered around looking for someplace interesting but not too expensive for dinner. We ended up at the world’s worst Kentucky Fried Chicken. They got the order wrong three times.

After we had more or less eaten, I dropped Michele off at around 8:45 and was home by 9:15 or so. Spent an hour talking with Sonja -- I *miss* seeing my housemates, dammit.

Then Paul and Michele showed up at home. The party had apparently been all black lights, blaring music, crowds of strangers, strobe lights. The sort of thing that would usually have been accompanied by a great deal of drinking and/or drugs, but greatly to the credit of the hosts, neither of those was in evidence. It was not Paul and Michele’s scene, so they left early.

I know a lot of people love that kind of party. It energizes them, makes them feel free and cool and alive. But I personally loathe that kind of thing. I hate crowds, strangers, noise, and strobe lights. I like parties where I can talk to people. I was *really* glad I hadn’t gone.

I got to bed at a reasonable hour, woke up early in the throes of an asthma attack, and then fell back to sleep until noon. Horrible dreams about pink shell-less crab creatures coming up out of a well. At first there was only one, then there were dozens, everywhere, breeding and changing shape. When I woke, I realized that the creatures looked exactly like the Lump when it was removed from me (yes, I saw it), also that the incision was inflamed, aching, and oozing. It’s been a month, and now the incision decides to get infected. I need to call the doctor today.

I got up, ate some brunch, and was soon feeling thoroughly sick. Went back to sleep until late in the evening. I’d promised to spend some time with Michele, since she is now staying up in the North Bay a couple of nights a week for her job. (The 180-mile round trip was just too much to do every day.) So we talked for a while. Then she went to sleep, I went to my office and wrote a little.

So. What went wrong was (A) too many family and volunteer commitments, (B) sheer exhaustion, and (C) health — breathing issues, upset stomach, and the infected leg. What I can do about (A) is continue to refuse new commitments. I’ve already made it clear I won’t be available for volunteer work for the rest of the month. As for (B) and (C), I can try to get regular sleep and meals, talk to the doctor about the leg, and avoid too much caffeine. Oh, and keep my bedroom window closed. I suspect that one problem is that the chimney of the wood stove lets out just below my bedroom windows, so I've been sleeping badly and waking up wheezing, coughing, and generally in poor shape. Carbon Monoxide plus all the particulate matter of smoke is not exactly healthy for those of us with bad chests. And it can cause all the problems I've been having, including the upset stomach. Well, not the infected wound. That's just my luck.

I am serious about this novel. I need to get it written, and I want to do the first 50,000 words this month. I’ve been doing a little revising all along, but that may need to stop. I need to turn off the voice that says, “All this is crap. It’s not interesting, it’s not publishable, it’s just junk.” And *write*. Just *write*.

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