August 26 Weekend Notes

A random bunch of stuff, some of it inspired by current online reading. You’d be surprised how much interesting writing there is on the net, hidden away in obscure corners. I just read ruminations on the possible end of science fiction on a blog that barely exists (three posts, and the most recent the first one since 2014). Get it up to speed, Steve.

Steve’s post led me into stating, once again, my proclivity for reality-based SF, both as a reader and a writer. Which led to A Well-Educated Boy, which is always on my mind these days. As part of tracking its progress, I plan to write a post (sooner or later) about some of the real-life resources that I’ll be drawing on. There’s a lot of weird, and sometimes scary, stuff going on in the field of education, and most of it is unknown to the general public. I’m considering actually adding those links as an appendix to the book. It’s rare for a novel to have an appendix of any kind, but they do turn up now and then. I’m thinking specifically of Peter Watts’s appendices at the end of both of his Firefall novels: Blindsight and Echopraxia.

I recently signed up (again) for NaNoWriMo. After years of participating, I’ve been in a fence-sitting position about it for the last two or three years. I’ve gotten everything I can out of it. No, it’s still useful, if only for forcing me to really concentrate on one writing project long enough to get it done. I just don’t have time for that kind of commitment anymore. Not true; as much time as I waste (weeks spent without writing a single word), devoting 30 days to one novel is hardly a bump in the timeline.

Whether I’ll actually go through with it (I signed up but changed my mind before it even started last year) is up in the air. I want to finish editing A Perfect Slave this month, but I’m way behind. I’d like to spend September and October concentrating on A Well-Educated Boy, but I know how that kind of plan goes.

Procrastination has always been one of my middle names, and knowing that it’s at least partially due to having an actual disability in executive functioning is not an acceptable excuse. Nor is having ADD and truly serious problems with distractibility. Or the current physical problems that have more or less turned my life upside down, damn it. I don’t write for money or fame, thank goodness because they would be terrible motivators. But even writing because I have to write has trouble overcoming my neurological glitches. It’s a constant fight, and sometimes I’m just too tired to deal with it. When that happens I bury myself in reading the stacks of books I always have on hand, and they do, though not often enough, strike sparks that can get me back in front of the computer.

Sparks are happening more frequently lately, not consistently, but at least starting little fires that I can blow on and try to encourage into big, bright blazes.

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3 thoughts on “August 26 Weekend Notes

  1. It’s been similar with me: the time wastes away because the level of brain activity is just below that necessary to write, and it is more amusing to watch this year’s crop of hummingbirds – the usual two males – fight for the feeder, and then both zoom away, so of course I must stopt to watch it, right?

    I increase my exercise one tiny bit, and lose a day. Hard to prove anything’s related, as I am also not entirely sure the current scene is both properly motivated, interesting enough to keep, and strong enough to carry its job – but it is also the one which, if it doesn’t work, brings the whole plot to a crashing flaming wreck. No pressure there.

    Just keep at it. I even ask myself, “What else would you do?” And wonder whether the whole point of me being practically immobile is for the book to continue to happen. But I’m weird that way. I think of Flannery O’Connor, toward the end of her short life (she died at 39 from the complications of lupus, IIRC), doing exactly the same – and I’ve been granted the family and the education and the career (if shortened by illness) she never had.

    Keep at it. You’ll get there. Look backward: see how far you’ve come.

    1. Good question: What else would you do? I’ve asked myself that plenty of times. There’s really nothing else, for me. Sit and read 16 hours a day? Surf the web? That isn’t a life. I just try not to wear my finger nails down, hanging on.

  2. I have no idea what other aging people do, and if I could move, I would be out there doing some of that, but not having writing would leave me bereft of purpose. Not that it’s an excuse for writing and publishing it, mind you, but it would bother ME.

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