The winter here was too mild for the bulbs, and the only iris that’s bothered to put in appearance is this little nihilist. With daylight and overhead lights and a little bit of flash, up close, you can tell she’s extremely dark purple, but under any other conditions, she reads as void black—which is all very cool and goth but also is not anything I ever put in the ground because the whole point of that little bed is to be bright and colorful when I look out the window, and this is the antithesis of that. Either somebody did a drive-by bulb transplant or this one spontaneously decided, “Life is despair. All my friends are dead. I’m dressing for the funeral. Bring me my Evanescence CDs.”
Feeling really good without the voices of millions screaming for attention. Who knew? (I did, because I’m an old who didn’t even have internet in the house until I was 22 and alert enough to track the long-term trajectory. Let’s just say it’s not a coincidence Grave Oversight‘s villain is using it as a tool to accelerate the end of the world.)
Sadly, I didn’t spend so much of my time doomscrolling that I now have extra hours every day in which to blaze through this revision, though dumping that source of mental garbage has made the time I do have a bit more fruitful.
Since earplugs have saved me from the TV and Fuckitol has saved me from social media (do not operate heavy machinery while taking Fuckitol; do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Fuckitol; common side effects of Fuckitol include unfamiliar feelings of serenity and contentment), Book Five has gotten in my face like a drill sergeant to yell, “Now that I have your full attention, word monkey, perhaps you’d like to know where all this is going so you can write toward it!” The note pile grows apace.
The combination of escalated fuckery and my general dislike of social media have led me to finally cut the cord on the bird app. I’ve long known the endless barrage of bad news and increasing amounts of time cleaning up bigots, bots, and spammers in order to make the place remotely habitable aren’t beneficial to me, and I have the luxury of my relationships and livelihood not being rooted there, so it was a painless decision. (And wow, my browser is much speedier after removing the half dozen extensions necessary to make that one site even remotely tolerable.)
I looked at some other options but quickly decided against pursuing any because the concept of being personally accessible to anyone in the world at any time is inherently problematic, regardless of venue. I consider the telephone invasive technology, so being subjected to everybody’s every thought at every moment is abhorrent, before we even get to the overtly toxic activity.
For book news, you can subscribe to the as-yet-unused newsletter because “Hey, I did a thing you can buy or request from your library” is a form of communication I’m actually willing to do, and/or you can get blog updates in your inbox by making use of the aptly titled “Blog Updates in Your Inbox” widget (right side of the screen on desktop, toward the bottom of the page on mobile). There’s also an RSS feed in proximity to that, though I’m pretty sure nobody has used those for a decade (thanks, Google Reader).
I might add an occasional non-work post to the blog rotation—then again, I started to add some non-work stuff here, thought “I’m not even interested in that,” and deleted it, so there’s little need to worry about being flooded with my personal tedium.
Anyhoo, you can find me here, surfacing from the tranquil pool of minding my own business when I have progress reports.
78 rough draft pages have become 112 revised pages.
Road Trip! (Day 1 of 2)
This installment brings us a third of the way into the story. So far, Heroine has handled with relative ease (and insignificant injuries) everything thrown at her. We’ve demonstrated she can hold her own against a couple of types of foes who want her dead and that her reflexes and powers of observation will keep her out of most “accidents.” An element of weirdness has joined the chat, but what the situation demands of her has thus far been mostly within her comfort zone.
It’s time for things to start hurting!
64 rough draft pages have become 89 revised pages.
This installment reunites us with the age-old problem of knowing it’s only the second of many, many passes and therefore doesn’t have to be perfect, only better, but also getting upset because it’s not perfect. In the name of aggressive imperfection, I’m adding things I know I’ll have to cut later because “this spot needs something” but if I knew what, I would have written it the first time, so I have to fumble around plugging the holes with whatever trash stops the leaks and hope at some point in the future my brain recovers enough to look at the patch job and say, “Well, that sucks, but at least it created a space for This Brilliant Solution, which I will now effortlessly insert.”
And hey, you never know, some of it might be okay. The part that seemed to be primarily about defensive castle architecture provided an opportunity to squeeze Heroine and Hero together in a narrow space so she notices he has nice lips and a warm body and enumerates the reasons she’ll be ignoring them. It’ll need work on the next pass, but it is a good place to drop a mention of sexual awareness (and immediately thwart it). Proof I have to trust the process while also remaining mindful of tangents that waste time and cause bloat.
Mercifully, Past Me nailed the structure starting with the outline, so I don’t have to worry about changing anything in a way that creates more problems. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to make the best use of what I already have.