All Night Writing Jags: otherwise known as “the death of me”

Yesterday doesn’t exist for me.  I blot it out as the lost day.  Day of no brain.

Oh, except that when I woke up at 11:40am I hustled my butt out of the house in a completely unwashed state to get on my bicycle and meet two good friends for a brown bag lunch on the library benches.  I didn’t inform them that I was unwashed but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have looked less dubious than if I’d just gotten in from 24 hours of travel with an unintended overnight layover at JFK with no where to sleep.  I looked that good yesterday!  I didn’t actually have time to make my own lunch which I had intended to do so, like a modern day moron, I stopped by the “health food” store downtown for a sandwich.

My sandwiches are so much better than theirs.

I had a lovely chat with Lucy and Nicole about dreaded symphylans (a terrible soil pest the Pacific Northwest is noted for) and how it has been recently discovered that potatoes are poisonous to symphylans but symphylans are as attracted to eating potatoes as diabetics are to buckets of sugar.  This is a completely useful discovery because now instead of having to not plant anything in your symphylan-rich ex-strawberry bed for years, you just plant potatoes.  The symphylans feast on your potatoes and die and the soil is cleaned up.  I forgot to ask Nicole if symphylans are tasty to eat.  Can I eat the potatoes or will they be rendered disgusting?

I wouldn’t want to blot out my great lunch.

The problem with yesterday is that I stayed up until 4:30am on Sunday because I’m a middle aged party animal.  There was a keg, underwear on the flagpole, and several Tom Cruise worship stations.

It would be so awful if anyone actually imagined that in their heads.

I have been experiencing a little writer’s block, apparently.  I have all the information I need to get moving with my third draft of Cricket and Grey* and yet I have not been able to begin the rewrite of chapter one.  The rest of the book needs polishing and cleaning but chapter one needed a complete rewrite.  So on Sunday I woke up and said to myself “I will not go to sleep until I have written 5,000 words into chapter one” and promptly got busy writing a post for Stitch and Boots instead.

One pm rolled around and I had to chain myself to my desk and shut down my blogs and just get to it.  And I did.  It took me at least 4 hours just to write a second paragraph which I ended up scratching because it sucked.

Truth be told, the whole rewrite of chapter one is pretty questionable.  The main thing is that I held myself accountable and I did not go to sleep until I had written 5,034 words.  I crashed into bed (full of beer too because I couldn’t keep the brain ticking without it) and didn’t wake up the next day until almost noon.

I went to bed at eleven last night with the idea that I’d get loads of good sleep and wake up early-ish to get my job done so I would have a little time to get right back into the novel writing.  I did not get good sleep.  I had nightmares in which I couldn’t breath while trying to catch very bad people doing very bad things.

I’m not exactly rested.  For some reason, I am feeling just fine anyway.

I already said this on facebook so some people have already heard me express concerns about this, but I want to say here that I don’t think it was a good idea for Prince William to give Kate his mother’s engagement ring.  I’m all for handing family jewels down and for not buying new diamonds when there are plenty of antique ones to buy on the market, but I think if you know a ring was given to a woman by a man who didn’t love her and who went on to have a long term affair with another woman, and if that recipient of the ring went on to divorce the man who gave it to her (after having her own affairs, incidentally, being far from innocent in the “marriage”) and then died in a car crash with a controversial lover, maybe that isn’t a ring with the best luck.

It seems that the royal wedding is getting a lot of people twitterpated.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Max’s school is working out really well.  We’re on week three and he hasn’t started the whole “I hate school” discussion we used to have every day.  He comes home pretty happy, tells me he isn’t getting in trouble, and goes to his room to work on his animation.  My boy is animating his violent stick figure cartoons!  It’s amazing!  So now he spends about half the time playing video games that he used to and spends that time MAKING little videos.  It is way too cool to see his passion, which many view as a negative soul destroying activity, be turned into a creative outlet for him as well.

I think there’s a bigger life lesson in here: whoever you are, whatever your passions may be, there are positive, neutral, and negative ways to channel and express them.  So instead of worrying about the interest or passion itself, find a healthy way to channel it.

Warriors can find ways to express their need for combat that don’t have to involve hurting actual people.  For the record- I am not one of those people who thinks video games are evil.

But I will say that if Philip sat around playing video games all the time I would not be very attracted to him because grown men who spend most of their free time playing video games are a serious turn-off to me.  It makes them seem adolescent and I’m not interested in feeling more like a parent to my spouse than a contemporary.

I am about to ride my bicycle to meet Max and Philip for a doctor’s appointment.  It’s gorgeously sunny but cool out.  My whole day has been elevated in status from pretty good to pretty fucking fantastic because a close friend of mine who I ADORE but don’t see often just randomly stopped by and brought me an enormous bowl of eggs from her mother’s chickens.  Most are the sweetest small banty eggs like we had growing up from our little Cochen banties Molly, Madeline, and George.  It’s not the eggs that truly elevated my day but my friend’s gorgeous smile and the surprise of seeing her.

Chick was beside herself with excitement because Laurie profoundly loves animals and Chick knows it.

I hope you all get the equivalent of a bright visit from a friend or a bowl of homegrown eggs or just a little dose of sun if that’s what it takes to make an okay day become something wonderful!

*Which is not what the actual title of the book will be.  That’s just what I call it now because I don’t have a title yet.  I’ll tell you what it WON’T be called: Moon Over Minneapolis.


  1. Ann says:

    Really not moon over minneapolis? Awww… harhar!

    Ah, biking to hang with friends, biking to meet up with your loved ones, ahh biking. I’m so green with envy. The weather is nasty here. I’ve had a crap day dealing with the monopoly of Time Warner. I truly despise them and our fascist government for allowing us to revisit the beginning of the last century and those charming souls called robber barons. History repeats itself if the lessons aren’t learned. I also would skedaddle off to another country with all of it’s own particular problems if I could. At least said other country would have charms that I find charming.

  2. angelina says:

    Just hang in there Ann- spring will come for you too soon. Just to make you feel a little better- it was unpleasantly windy today making it unpleasant. I’d way rather be rained on while riding or ride in the very cold weather (but naturally we don’t have the kind of bitter cold that you do!), wind I can’t abide. I’m with you on the emigration front. Can’t see I’ll ever get my ticket stamped to leave though. I’m so sorry you had a crap day. If I could slam down a beer or two with you right now I’d love that. I’m sure I could think of something to cheer you up.

  3. Ann says:

    Thanks, Angelina. You’ve cheered me mightily. I love the visual of us hanging out and slamming down beers. What a great feeling. I wish we could, too. You’re such a kind soul.

    As for that wind, we have it, too. It’s so strong here lately that it’s rather unsafe to ride on our narrow, traffic heavy, rural roads. Grass is greener and all that.

  4. Lucy says:

    Just a thought, I recently read a book, A Gift Upon the Shore, which is a post apocolyptic novel set on the Oregon Coast. Interesting: it uses first and third person; talks about natural medicine; has an irish descendent as a main characater. I thought it did do a good job of setting the scene. Also, this the fourth Oregon-based post apocolyptic novel (well, one of those four is a six book set) that comes quickly to mind (yours included 🙂 ).

  5. angelina says:

    Lucy- that is not happy news! It seems I ought to have researched the whole genre before writing my book but it never occurred to me because I just had the story in my head and got on with it. That’s a horrible number of similarities! Especially with use of both first and third person. I guess I should read it. I don’t actually have any Irish people in my story though, only first generation Scottish American.

    The truth is, I don’t read apocalyptic novels because generally they are very depressing and I never actually intended to write in this genre at all. What’s done is done. I have this story to offer.

    Lordy, and one of them is even a series.

    I need to go drink a barrel of beer now.

  6. angelina says:

    Lucy, when you get a chance please tell me what the other titles are so I can see what they’re like. I’m trying to do a google search but I’m not finding them.

  7. Lucy says:

    The Postman (1985, David Brin) and the Dies the Fire series (2004, S.M. Sterling). They are all quite different from C&G.

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