Bat Bullshit

Monday, May 30, 2005

I delayed for a long time today’s writing. Doolies left over an hour ago, and I’ve squandered away this time, watching the extras from my current Netflixed movie, eating too much chocolate (which I’ve used as a yummy caffeine surrogate to a not so successful extent), and generating procrastinating the start of my writing session. This is the earliest I’ve written in three or four days. It’s almost nine, and at my usual rate of writing, I should be done before ten, the earliest I’ve gotten to sleep in a while. Not that I’ll probably get to sleep once I finish writing—I was using sleep as a surrogate for finishing writing.

Enough babbling. I didn’t have much to say today diary-wise, except, of course, that I miss Doolies terrible already (I’m seeing her in four days in NY, so, yes, I know, I should stop whining and get to the writing part already), and I thought today would be a good day to jump back into writing. With further ado (since the more I ado, the more I eat up the words needed for the Goal), here goes.

I failed. I wrote the below fragment and then failed. I’d like to blame it on the lack of caffeine, but that’s probably only half the reason. When I jump into a story that I know nothing about, I usually am able to locate a conflict (even if the conflict is a very small one only recognizable to me). Tonight, I couldn’t keep the thread together long enough. I took many breaks, walked around the Castle, and even folded laundry in the hopes of finding the spark. I liked the start (based that part on my evening with Doolies), but I couldn’t bring it anywhere. These are excuses, of course. I’m good at excuses if nothing else.

I think part of my problem today was that I took the story and conflict too seriously. Instead of opening up and writing, I started to craft the paragraphs after I wrote them. I wanted to say something deep and found myself wading in the shallow end searching for shells, instead of diving into the waves and washing myself with the tide. (Now, that was awful. I should save that one in my worst waste of words collection.)

Where that leaves me, regrettably, is with 800 words to write and little to talk about. After dropping my mother off at the airport at a horribly early hour this morning, Doolies and I spent the day bumming around the Castle. We left it only twice: we went to an early dinner at a local Vietnamese exotic meat restaurant, and our trip to the airport. She should be landing in about fifteen minutes. It’s past ten now, by the way—which means that my dreams of finishing my writing early will have to wait for another time. I thought about continuing to push the dirt forward in the story, but I didn’t have the energy or the focus. More excuses, I know.

This week promises to be a busy one at work. I have four days to finish a bunch of projects that have percolated on my plate before heading off for my New York vacation. These past three weeks have felt a bit like a vacation with the two conferences and the visits by family.

My hand and fingers are still hurting a bit, but they’re better than last week. I tried to give them lots of rest—although Doolies and I did play a small amount of video games. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for me to get over the shakes. I’ve also been fighting a bit of a headache this Memorial Day weekend. I think the headaches were caused by my sleep patterns, which have not been regular in days. Tonight will be another late night. Doolies just called. Her flight landed nine minutes early, and her plane was taxiing to the gate. My mother gave her the three girly magazines she had bought on her plane, so Doolies had plenty of gossip to read on the airplane. I guess females like the gossipy magazines since they evolved to handle the ins and outs of family relations better than us males. I can think of no other excuse for why anyone would care about the going ons and abouts of famous people.

I’ve been trying to find concrete conflicts in my stories. I’ve not actually found any, but it is in the front of my mind. It sounds relatively easy to implement: find a goal for the protag and then throw stuff in front of him that keeps him away from the goal. How simple is that? The narrator wants Billy fired, but the boss promotes Billy and the narrator together for a project. What will Billy do? See. Happy conflict. Of course, I probably will never write act 2, since I didn’t even know what I was writing in act 1, but at least there was a semblance of a conflict.

My eyes are growing heavy and I’m feeling ready to wrap this up. I’m going to try writing a story again tomorrow, and hopefully spend some time during the day planning a bit. I’ve returned to writing on Georgette when home. Georgette, if you remember, is my G4 Powerbook. The keys feel a bit softer on my fingers, which I think is one of the reasons for the feeling returning to my fingertips. (Not that I had lost feeling—that would be a bad, bad sign. I was using that more as an expression, if you will.)

Tomorrow I’ll also return to drinking caffeine, which will hopefully allow me to keep my head in the story. Yesterday was another caffeine-free night, and you see where it left me. I’m at the 200-word mark, which means it’s almost time to wrap this up. This is a good thing, since I’m again at a loss for words. Not that this has ever stopped me in the past—the not having anything to say—but you know what I mean. It’s easier to write when I do have something to say. There I go again: opening the spigot and letting bullshit rain freely.

Today’s word count is hovering at 1880. I like to thank the Association of Public Broadcasting for all their support. Today’s sponsor was the color blue. Caffeine was none, except if you count the three-quarters of a chocolate bar I ate. It’s not one of those wimpy bars, by the way. It’s a three-dollar organic chocolate bar that’s rather delicious. I’ve become addicted to them, and it might be time to cut them off, go cold turkey. Yet another failure in my long line of failures to control my unsavory habits. You may catch me tomorrow on the same bat channel, the same (well, around the same) bat time, and the same bat topic—i.e., not much of a topic at all. Final word count: 2000.