No more books,
No more teachers' dirty looks"
It's such an immense relief to have completed that novel. No more hitting the word count function. No more using the talking whales as a deux ex machina to solve any loose plot problem (although, frankly, it is rather a comfort to be able to have brainy cetaceans at hand--if only life were that way. I love that in the Tolkien novels, the tide turns when one character looks up and says "The Eagles! The Eagles!". I can think of two or three things on my to do list that some intellectual orca, or perhaps a less flighty eagle, could help me solve). No more authorial awe at how dysfunctional the narrator/protagonist has proven to be, even though the narrator speaks in a voice not that dissimilar to that of the author. No more eyestrain, no more Saturdays split between law briefs and aliens, and no more random ruminations on the problems of faith and loneliness. Well, scratch that. This journal remains a hazard zone on the problems of faith, loneliness, and, who knows? Maybe whales.
I have been intoxicated once in my life, after a set of law school friends assured me that this was an essential experience I should not forego. What did I learn from this?
I learned that under the influence of alcohol my natural penchant for over-analysis and wordy exposition is attuned to a very fine art. A 50,000 word fine art. It is little wonder that I have not been intoxicated since that time. This first novel has taught me that given free rein, I will ramble around on questions of faith, colors and whales for tens of thousands of words at a time, sans plot, sans dialogue and sans point. But I needed to know that about myself. Writing is like alcohol for me--given enough of it, I can get particularly wordy.
I did take some time yesterday to read a critique of this nanowrimo.org thing by professional writer Alma Hromik in some on line mag called Swann's Commentary. In moderately strident tones, she expressed the sentiment that nanowrimo was a slap in the face to serious writers. It was an interesting think piece, but I get a little bored of people who think that others' consensual, non-invasive silly conduct is a "slap" at their way of life. I suppose on some level, I'd want to say to Ms. Hromik: "interesting point. But I'm still going to sign up for next year's competition".
I see the holly trees on the median strip on Alma Drive are in full, red berry. This is a real holiday harbinger. The weather, by contrast, is entirely warm and pleasant. I love that Texas November alternates between cold and warm.
Tonight my wife is attending a meeting of a club she has joined, so I must eat alone. I had some insidious Chinese buffet for lunch, because I was in a rush, after yesterday's lunch was also an insidious Chinese buffet because I was in a rush. I suppose the buffet itself was not insidious, it was just largely fried, and I nearly have eaten my life's quota of fried food; at least, the remaining portions of my life's quota I'd like to spend on catfish and perhaps some really charming tempura. Of course, yesterday, just after I observed to someone how hard it is to find healthy eating in Dallas as contrasted with California, I ordered the hot fudge brownie sundae. Watch the bouncing ball, please--don't watch me.
I did see a new place on Jupiter Road on my commute to work lately with those magic words: "BBQ" on it.
Maybe that's my Monday destination.
I feel very energetic right now. I'm going home now, but tomorrow--watch out!