God Damn Real Life.

I’m supposed to be writing a book. So of course I noticed mould growing in my bedroom, down near the baseboards, when I was vaccuuming last night, and had to bleach the living hell out of it. And then take a big suck on my inhaler, because mold + bleach = asthma. Yes, we are all so sexy over here.

And then, of course I was woken up this morning by my landlady, calling from Florida. The roof is leaking again, and the guy upstairs is going to Vegas today. So I had to call around and find someone who will come over and put a tarp over our house until the landlady gets home. And then I’ll be on Bucket Check Duty upstairs.

And of course I noticed that the guy upstairs has ‘tasteful’ nudie shots of some woman (Random? Fuck buddy? Girlfriend? I can’t think of a polite way to ask) on his screensaver, which I totally wouldn’t have expected of him.

Oh, and then, there’s the ‘I haven’t got a plot, do I?’ worry. Meh. I’ll just keep introducing surprises until it’s time to wrap it up in the pyrotechnic style of which I’m sure I’ll suddenly become capable.

Ok. Whinge over.

No Doze. (Apologies to every single poet, ever.)

(Maybe even Wordsworth and his %**$##@ daffodils.)

No sleep for me, I’m writing a book!

I have lots of support, but I don’t want them to look

At the work that’s in progress, as what they don’t know

Is that I’ve written drivel that totally blows.

My protag is changing, she used to be cool

And now she’s become a gigantic fool.

She spouts all this Latin to make her sound smart,

Then sleeps with a werewolf, God, what a tart.

She used to be quite a a competent girl,

Cataloguing species was her whole world.

Now she gets into trouble and stands there and screams,

She’s the girl I hate, not the one of my dreams.

Her boyfriend is quite good, if I do say so.

So what if he’s hairy to those in the know?

He keeps his head and he’s really quite cool,

And manages not to be a fool.

But I have no idea about the plot.

The were-octopi are all I’ve got.

Sam says their motivation is revenge,

But I think they’re waiting for this book to end.

I suspect they’re really not that bad,

But no one understands them, and so they’re mad.

Is it enough for them to roam the novel

Consuming homeless people in their makeshift hovels?

Maybe they want a bigger shot?

A chance to be heroes, a chance to be hot?

I just have to keep on writing away,

And hoping my brain won’t gang agley.

Transported in Public.

I ride the bus. It allows me to feel smug in my lack of polluting the environment, while at the same time ensuring that it takes me at least twice the time to get anywhere that it would in a car. However, there are some bus rides that I would not trade for a chauffered ride in a Bentley. Today I had one of those rides.

I was on one of the new hybrid trolley buses that run along Broadway. The bus sighed with quiet efficiency. It did not yet smell like the public. Furthermore, the seats had been ergonomically constructed so that the (minimal) jolting was offset by the lumbar support for the passengers’ bus-riding backs.

I was disposed to be kindly. I met the eyes of embarking passengers. And then-as is often my luck- some random person struck up a conversation with me. I don’t know why this happens. I do my best, usually, so that it doesn’t. I have my nose in a book, a hat over my eyes. No eye contact here.

But then the guy stopped and looked at me. He obviously had some mental health issues. He looked about 45, overweight, plainly dressed. Poor dental hygeine, and a childlike avidity in his eyes.

He asked, “Have we met before?”

“No, we haven’t.” In my mind, I’m thinking, people are looking at me, what are they thinking? Oh, God, how embarassing.

“Oh,” says the guy. “Did you know lots of people don’t understand mental illness?”

“Really?” I said. Okay. Don’t panic. He’s not a threat, just simple.

“Lots of people are uncomfortable with mental illness. I have Adult Autism. Lots of people aren’t cofortable with that.” He curled his hand carefully around the metal pole.

“Really,” I said again. I couldn’t say nothing. It would have been rude.

“Yes. Sometimes even people with backgrounds in mental health are uncomfortable. But sometimes grandmas aren’t.”

“I see,” I said evenly. Was there an undercurrent, some subtext for him that I was missing?

“Yes. Nineteen times out of twenty, people are uncomfortable with it. That’s why it’s important to ask if you’re comfortable about it.”

I nodded. “I can see how courtesy is important.”
“Yes. Nine times out of ten, people are happy that I am courteous enough to ask.”

“I see,” I said. And I did see.

Then he thanked me, told me to have a nice day, and went to sit down further up the bus.

I got off the bus shortly thereafter, but I had just been handed a hat full of things to think about. This man was courteous. He was friendly. He was, well, a person. His brain is wired differently than mine. But ultimately, he and I had the same goal in mind: Ride the bus and not make others uncomfortable.

We human beings are nothing special, just bags of meat held up by bones and animated through what amounts to electrical impulse. Where we become special is in how we treat other people.

Courtesy elevates us. Charity elevates us. But empathy elevates us most of all.

21,092

And sailing smoothly.

19,028

And time to take a break to do some plotting.

Not Everybody Loves To Write.

So my student A came in tonight. She’s tired. She has a cold. She has a mammoth project due on Friday. And when she was asked to write a script for a commercial on how to end child labor, she got a little facetious. I have her permission to post it.

SCRIPT

Child 1: I want to be able to play instruments. I want to be a musician.

Child 2: I want to be an artist.

Child 3: I want to help sick people.

Woman: Every child has dreams. But thousands of children lose their dreams and doesn’t even get the chance to have a hope. (starts to cry) They’re suffering from child labour! They don’t get educated and they don’t have their freedom…Please call604-111-2222 to help these poor children. (sits down on the ground and cries more.)

I laughed so hard at this. Maybe I need to get out more.

How Novel!

Word Count: 13,029. Ahead of schedule by a thousand words. If this keeps up, I might take a day off at some point.
My protagonist has evolved considerably since last year. As with last year, many of my own personal bugaboos and greivances are coming out onto the page, where I can examine them and go ‘Yeah, there’s something I have issues with.’

I’m writing in First-person, but a lot of my protagonist’s internal monologue seems to be exactly what I think about things. Funny, because I’ve just made her have dinner with her parents, who are closed-minded bourgeois snobs with a very small worldview. Originally, they were just going to be rip-offs of E’s parents, but the mother, in particular, has become much, much worse.  Not only does she not understand why her marine biologist daughter insists on pursuing a career, she constantly nags her to ‘find a nice man’ and ‘settle down’. Protag’s dad, on the other hand? Yeah. He doesn’t say much, and is obsessed with sailing.

Writing is Fun!

Word Count: 4,404

Ideas that might be brilliant but might also be asinine: 3

Plot Bunnies: 0

Nanoers call ideas that save you when all hope is lost, ‘Plot Bunnies’. I never get them, because hope is never lost. There’s always somewhere to go, something to write about. This is why I find it hard to think of myself as a ‘real’ writer. When I give myself creative license, I don’t have a problem writing. No writer’s block, no angst. That stuff only seems to happen when I have to limit myself somehow to, say, a conventional narrative arc.

Pah, I spit on convention.

Holy Absenteeism, Batman!

My apologies. I thought I only posted a couple of days ago. Now I find it’s been more than a week?!

Wow. And, of course, I am doing NaNoWriMo this year again, so if I do blog during November, it will probably be with woes about my novel.  In which case, it will be sheer, egregious procrastination.

So, to cap it off: Sorry, maybe not so fun for a month.

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