“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live.... I'd type a little faster.”
Isaac Asimov

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Three Sparkling Chapters, Ready To Go!
Sun 2006-04-09 20:25:23 (in context)
  • 59,145 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 127.00 hrs. revised

Or as ready as they can look on the day the task is done. I should read them over again later, though, after I write up the synopsis. In any case, I got to the end of Chapter Three.

By the time he got back to Seattle (in the passenger seat of a green Saturn coupe whose driver held contradictory opinions about hitchhiking), a crimson sea was once more washing over the world. But this time it was the healthy, rose-touched red of sunset. It had nothing to do with lack of air. Brian was breathing just fine. Air moved into him comfortably and out again with each breath, just like air should. He was exhausted, true, but there was nothing wrong with him really, nothing at all.

He was alive and well. He wasn't on his way to Colorado.

And he never would be again.

Yay! Bittersweet sunsets and resignation and foreshadowing and whatnot, go me! Now all I have to do is write up a synopsis and something like a letter of intent. Here's what happens in the book, and here's why I want to attend the workshop.

I'm not entirely sure what happens in the book. I haven't entirely decided. I suppose I'd better just make the best guess I can and trust that it'll be good enough to get me in the door.

The exceedingly friendly lounge car steward on the train from Chicago to New Orleans asked me something relevant here. "Do you think you need it?" He meant the workshop. He meant, can writing be taught? Are workshops worth it? And yes, enough of the craft of writing is teachable that there's no question workshops can be worth it. But it remains a good question: Why do I want to go? What do I hope to learn? When I think about Big Name Authors (or even medium-name authors) reading my sorry attempts at telling this story and pointing out all the ways in which I've gotten it wrong, I cringe, I really do. But I still want to go. Why?

I really hope I have a better reason than the fan-girl one. "Ohmygawd like I totally want to meet Big Name Authors and have them read my Stuff *swoon* it'll be so rad!"

Maybe I'm hoping that the very knowledge that I've spent a lot of money to go, and put a lot of face on the line, will push me into high performance mode. I always have worked well under pressure. I hate it, but it works. Maybe that's why I procrastinate. Maybe I'm doomed to procrastinate all my life.

Victoria Nelson has some very kind things to say about procrastination. She says that we should stop punishing ourselves with the word and start looking at it as a statement of fact: I have put off my task until tomorrow. Why have I done this? What is preventing my unconscious creator mind from working with my conscious ego? What can my ego do to improve relations with my unconscious? Only I don't know how to answer that question. Creation happens in a state of grace, she says. You can't make it happen by force of will; you can only relax and allow the miracle to happen. And let yourself write as an act of play instead of a chore. Have fun.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of all this advice, but kind words and having fun seem like a good place to start. Better than hating myself for taking all day to get started, anyway.

In other news, I've been messing around a bit with the blog code. I'm quite pleased with having converted the blog entries table from being indexed by timestamp to being indexed by an auto_increment ID number instead, and revising all the display and entry management code to reflect that, all in under twelve hours. Unfortunately, you can't see that. What you can see is I've put the Random Writing-Related Quote back onto the page. Yay! Bask in its radiance! It is a thing of beauty!

(Yes, I know. I need to get out more. Hush.)