Never make plans. Never stare yourself in the mirror and say “Tomorrow, the work TRULY begins!” When you do that, it usually means you’re in trouble. The last few days for me have been mainly taken up by attempting to recover from my cold, with some gradual work on the book crammed inbetween. Dad and Linda set off for their week in France this morning, so today would be the first time in nearly a week where I’d be virtually on my own (aside from Linda’s son Tom, who both works and has an active social life, so he’s barely here). Hurrah, I thought to myself. Time to knuckle down, and truly get some serious writing done.
Unfortunately, as it turned out, I ended up waking up at 5.10 in the morning, slightly hungry and completely unable to get to sleep. I filled time by watching some TV, had breakfast, finally started to feel human, went and bought stamps for a couple of letters in the nearby village, came back to the house, and promptly started to crash into a semi-conscious fug. I lasted writing about two sentences before I slumped back upstairs into bed at about 10.15. I then blinked, and it was 11.15. I then remember getting up, wandering to the bathroom, going back to bed… and then things got a bit strange thanks to a decidedly epic dream I had- a version of a ‘New Doctor Who’ season climax involving flying aliens, saucer-shaped aircraft, and multi-dimensional landscapes intersecting with Washington D.C.
I finally woke up four hours later, with only an hour or so of grey sunlight to enjoy before the day got dark once again. I’ve at least spent the last few hours planning out the next few days, and arranging some of the character threads of the novel together so they’ll be easier to work with. The novel is still in shaky shape, but is now running nearly two chapters shorter than it was- I’m just worried that certain structural things I was doing in earlier versions aren’t going to work now. What I’m going to try and do is put all of that out of my head, and concentrate on the actual, nuts-and-bolts writing new stuff that needs to be written. Once I get a ‘new rough draft’, I can print this bastard out, read it, and I’ll have a much better idea of where the dead patches are. I’m slightly paranoid about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but I want this to be a book that moves quickly, and doesn’t grind to a halt. It’s supposed to be a romp, gawd-dammit.
If my paranoia, insecurity and other neuroses allow it, I would like to have a functional version of the new structure of the book by the end of next week, so I can start doing some really aggressive rewrites over the Christmas period. I sometimes doubt whether I’m cut out for this- but despite all the problems, I read through the end of the novel a couple of days ago- and it rocks. It’s a mess, it needs a tremendous amount of work, but the damn thing rocks like a Metallica album, and if I can actually get it to work, I can rest assured that, at the very least, nobody is trying to do the kind of things I’m trying to pull off here. Of course, I may later discover that there’s a very good reason nobody else is trying to do it. Hey ho…
I miss George. I haven’t seen her since last Saturday… and I really miss her now. Maybe it’s just being on my own, but I can’t wait to get back to her and, despite all the ridiculous nonsense awaiting me in the future, I also can’t wait to get this next phase of my life going. It may be scary, but something tells me it’s going to be worth it.