Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today I am Inefficient

I am on the downhill slide with the lesbian western and sort of expected to write a chapter today and be done with the draft; however, I found myself doing anything else rather than starting, and when I put my hands on the keyboard I realized what the matter was. I still have a fair amount of exposition to get through, after the story has to all intents and purposes ended. I need to keep it short and interesting and dynamic, but these are not loose ends I can afford to leave flopping around. In its way, this is going to be as hard to choreograph as the chase scene was and it could take me all week.

Meanwhile, I had been counting on finishing the book to clear up some mental space to devote to things like contractors for the back porch (the one we had lined up went bankrupt and is no longer in business; we don't even have the plans), the piled-up filing and mail, sewing, selecting agents and editors to send books to, and February's Austin SCBWI conference. That'll either be $130 or $140 depending on which cut-off date given in the registration packet for early bird registration is correct, Dec 1 or Dec 15. So what I ought to do today is read over the material, decide if I'm doing it, and write the check or not. But when I try to do that my brain tangles back up in the story. Thinking about the story gets my brain tangled up in all sorts of things, including but not limited to the necessity of making an informed decision on the SCBWI registration. (Leveling up my Pathfinder characters! Sewing! Filing! Agents! Global warming! Pearl Harbor Day!)

This sets up enough tension that I want to say screw it and stick the Sims2 disk in. I've been playing a phenomenal amount of this game lately because there appeared to be some kind of backbrain synergy going on with what I was doing with the game and what I was doing with the book. At any rate, the two were mixed together in my dreams and some days when going about my non-writing business I would find myself easily and naturally thinking about the two storylines in alternate paragraphs, though they have no obvious relation to each other. The current impulse, however, is pure running away from the problem; so no Sims till I've accomplished some damn thing or other, and even then it has to be after 3:00 this afternoon, when I'll bottom out physically anyway.

At this point I'm not picky what I accomplish in the real world, but it's not an accomplishment unless the result is a clearing of the mental decks so I can think coherently about something. Anything! (One of the reasons Sims, or even solitaire, is more tempting an escape than diving headlong into a book is that the book requires concentration; computer games require a less-focused attention so the fact that I'm distracted isn't as annoying.)

So I don't know what I'm going to do today. I've made a list of discrete jobs, but this list may be summed up as "get head straight" and it's possible nothing I wrote down will do the trick.

At least laundry can get clean without reference to my state of mind.

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