Ghosts - 9.1.14, 23:25 (local time)
New Words: 1216
Total Words: 29400
Page Count: 140
Reason for Stopping: Apéro hour(s) with a friend and her friend, now a new friend/sleep.
Notes: The new words feel like the most sciencefictional stuff that's happened since the end of Part 1. Sure, there are cyberized folks walking around in 'shells' and people paying for things with thumbprints and eye-scans and folks in silver hair running around breaking shit, but maybe I've finally started assimilating Dhalgren. Reading it in larger chunks makes the task more bearable, but I still feel how I do about that book.
This one still feels slow, even though a bit of plot peaked its head out at the end of the segment before the scene I started to end the run.
Part of what broke me through the wall or what pulled me out of the rut was a change of scenery. The aforementioned first friend took me to a work-cafe that seemed transplanted straight from 121st and Frederick Douglass Blvd. One of those places I and a college friend of mine would hole up in to spend Sunday afternoon writing. You pay a small fee by the hour (a few euros) and have free, unfettered access to the coffee, the sweets (oh those madeleines!!!), the lemonade, the bananas, the wireless, all of it. Seemed almost too good to be true. And having that companion certainly helped, for a number of reasons, one of which was dangling at the end of the week a weekend at Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy.
Another bit of thanks should go to the commencement of classes. Had my first one today (among the longest 2 hours of my life). During a leisurely stay at a bistro with a classmate afterwards, we got to talking and the topic wandered to passions and I traced for him the course of my writing through high school, college and law school, with a brief detour into that summer in 2009 where, when all I could do was write (because I was unemployed), I was absolutely miserable. Multitudinous were the reasons for that misery, but among them was the vicious cycle that resulted from the echo-chamber. No external inputs, no classroom discussion on unrelated topics, no other cerebral tasks, no structure to squeeze the writing into, and I was lost. Now, with classes having started, I feel the novel has found me. With vengeance. It feels good to feel good about this book again.
I picked up a very kind rejection from a small press on another novel and the kindness and thoroughness of the rejection took much of the sting out. It also reminded me that with this work and with potential future work, I will likely spend much longer. The compulsion has long been to flee to Wikipedia and see how long it took (my favorite) writers to craft their work (esp. their first novels), how long was the gestation period, how long the actual writing, etc. But that is never any real measure or barometer or whatever. The novel is ready when it is ready, and I realize now that I've never known when a novel was ready, which invariably means it's not ready. Fear of being brought back to square one on a completed novel cripples the revision process, and until that fear is conquered, no novel I write will ever be ready. It's sometimes enough to make me long for the halcyon days of high school when publication was still a pipe dream and all I did was write, write. Write...
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