Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Work (or Late Night Geological Philosophy)

I have a rental car for a few weeks. Ah, the freedom to get lost in a city you barely know! Well, I had my cellphone and a Thomas Guide, so how lost could I get? Don't answer that!

Anyhow, I drove past some guys doing construction on a house, and I saw a young man psyche himself up behind a wheelbarrow/cart full of smashed bricks, and run and push the wheelbarrow up a steep ramp onto a truck, and dump the stones onto the truck. (Then he probably loaded up the cart and did it all again.)

I felt exhausted just seeing him briefly as I drove by. It's one of those things that you see and think, "how come we can develop nanotechnology, but guys still have to manually wheel broken bricks up steep ramps onto trucks? Am I being bourgeois, empathetic, or futuristic?

Mentally, though, my writing has been just like that. I keep having to take a deep breath, run... and PUSH the words onto the page. Even if I know they're gonna be awful. Even if the scene feels pointless. Even if it's not at all what I intended when I started typing. That's the hardest part.

I'm at 119 pages. Not too bad. You may have noticed that I've stopped reporting a total word count. It's not 'cause I don't want to, but because with all the editing I've done, it hasn't changed as dramatically as I would've hoped. It looks underwhelming to print. And my former word count was a total of three documents. Now I'm not sure how many of the other two I'll use, so I only count my main one (which, sadly, is still only at 27 000 words.)

Just remembered being at an amethyst mine - in Thunder Bay, I think - with my family. You could "pick your own" essentially. My mom and dad and I were just picking up any pretty purplish rocks, whereas my sister was combing carefully through. She walked and walked, keeping her keen eyes on the ground, till she found two stunning pieces of amethyst. One was an especially valuable deep purple in one solid crystal shape.

I feel like now I'm just shoving cartfuls of rocks onto a truck, and then later, when the truck is full, I'll have to dump all the rocks out onto a patch of grass and pick out all the best ones to polish.

There is the urge to edit as I go, but my main goal is to finish the book, so I have to suppress it. I worry that if when l finish the first draft and start "polishing", I'll find that I have only three salvageable pages.

Maybe that'll be my motivation - "finish the first draft, and then you can worry as much as you want!"

Yeah. Heck, with my attitude, maybe I'll get a job at Successories!


Mich said...

There's always, the opposite of successories. :-)

My eyes aren't keen; (beautiful, yes, keen, no). If they were keen I'd be in the army now. :-) But thanks for saying so...

Anonymous said...

testing 123 (got an email that my comments weren't working) ? -JM