January 25th, 2008

eliot

Needs More Cowbell

It would be nice if I weren't in the middle of a novel the week over 100 people add me because of an intimate, thoughtful essay.

Hi, guys.

Unfortunately, I am. Palimpsest is due in a week and there is literally smoke coming out of my ears. The last week or two of a novel is a terrible time for me physically and emotionally--everything I've got is being poured out onto the page in a deluge, and that means all the good stuff, too, the patience, the faith, the beauty, the clarity. I very often feel as though I have little left of me: just a shell, what's left over when the book's done. This is, however, how I work, a deadly combination of fear, shame, and panic. It works, and I often think there's got to be a better way, but if that way invovles writing a little bit every day well in advance of deadline I don't want anything to do with it--I literally can't do that. Beyond my capabilities.

I recharge, eventually. I did this last January, and I should have posted about it so that now I could look back and say: "Oh, this is the week when I think I'm going to overshoot my wordcount goal by a mile and also that the whole thing is fragmented and a piece of crap and doesn't hang together at all."

So, Cat-of-the-Future: this is the week when you do that. It'll be fine. Please go have some cake.

It is a time when I need to be petted and made tea often. Kind of like sweating out an illness. justbeast is away on business for the weekend. I'm working like a beast, more or less. And attempting some healing long overdue. At the same time! Ph33r my multitasking skillz! (Also, completely awesome that LJ spellcheck tags "phear" as a misspell, but allows "ph33r." Well, played, programmers.)

So, please feel free to keep linking the Human Child post, you do not need my permission, just give credit. It's an important thing, more important than I realized, and I thought it was pretty damn important. However, all the thoughtfulness is novel-bound for seven more days. I'll be here, still working through answering your amazing emails, but it'll be February before I'm human again.

Fortunately I'm being rewarded with a trip to Ottawa next weekend, so there will be lots to tell.

Wish me monsters.
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