What I'm doing vs. what I ought to be doing

>> Sunday, December 23, 2007

The weather report called for wind and thunderstorms today. We had some rain this morning, and that was it; there was a blue sky overhead by two o'clock or so.

Normally, on a Sunday I'll go down to Boudreaux's for brunch and then cross the street to the neighborhood coffee shop, Smelly Cat. But today I wasn't especially interested in walking down to the corner in the rain, and so I planned on just hanging out at home. Then the weather cleared, and I thought, "Hey, I could at least go down to the coffee shop." I had an errand I needed to run anyway, to get a couple of Christmas cards to go with the presents I got for my mom and sister, and Canvas Monkey has some quirky cards. I figured I could get the cards, listen to the awesome Nina Simone boxed set I got for half price from the BMG music club this week, edit the NaNoWriMo novel, and then grab dinner at Boudreaux's, why not?

It's the editing the NaNoWriMo novel part of the novel that turns out to be the Achilles' Heel of the plan. Oh, the tedium of discovering that all your lightning was just a bunch of damn lightning bugs the whole awful time. It has to be done, of course, unless you just want to throw away the work, but... damn.

Scalzi's blog recently featured a guest column from Elizabeth Bear, "How To Write A Novel," in which one of the essential steps is putting the whole thing away for six months. Maybe she's right--maybe I ought to go write something else. Return to the vampire thing I was writing before NaNoWriMo--except that I'd hit a roadblock and needed to break the whole thing down and rebuild it from the start. (Aw shit, I think I mixed my metaphors, Ma.) Or there's the cute idea for a fantasy novel I had while I was working on NaNoWriMo: I could start outlining it. At least. Right.

One of the problems being that when you start revising something, and noticing how much you totally fucked it up, it sort of sucks some of the creative impulse right out. Why bother, when it's going to be shitty? Which is entirely something I'll get over, it just takes a little time.

So what I'm sort of thinking I might be doing today is playing Neverwinter Nights and otherwise screwing around. Which is not what I ought to be doing. I should be writing--it's been three weeks since NaNoWriMo ended, more than enough time to depressurize; still....

By the way, do I even need to say the Nina is awesome? I already had some of it on the two anthologies I owned, but I didn't have the entire albums. And I hadn't realized that Nick Cave's version of "Plain Gold Ring" on Live Seeds is basically a retooling of Simone's live version on In Concert, which makes up the first half of disc one of the Four Women set. (Do I even need to say that Simone's take blows Cave's out of the water, then continues to pummel it in mid-air like some kind of Dragonball Z character?)

Anyway, enough venting; back to goofing off, I guess.


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