Archive for September, 2007

Writer’s vacation: Painting the house – day 6

September 19, 2007

Stopping by to post on my way out to scrape. Again.

Six days of scraping. You’d think it would be one of those mindless endeavors that allows you to think. At least I did. And in a way it is/was/has been. I’ve found myself thinking about all sorts of random garbage. You know, detritus that bubbles up from the subconscious. Disturbingly, the largest bubble belonged to Perez. I had a chicken/egg debate running as an internal dialog, which needs the other more? Not sure what the subconscious was telling me. Monday was spent reliving the minutia of a caustic working environment four years removed. I think I prefer the non-introspective hours at my desk or with a laptop to the self-deprecating time spent scraping and painting.

Today, I’m on a break from scraping and have started priming. I’m encouraged by the progress I made in a short time. In fact, I finished the priming I needed to do (alas, I still need to scrape the front of the house. My next step). Priming and painting should be a better experience. If I could just delete the Nicole Ritchie pregnancy undercurrent, my day would be brilliant.

“Laying Low in Eli Nevada”, save me.

Writing has fizzled the last couple of nights. I need to start right after the kids are in bed. That said, Talledega Nights and a snout full of Rioja was exactly what I needed after scrapinging in the rain and listening to the Seasquawks give one to the Cards.

19 days remaining (445:42:32)


Twelve days of September: Racing towards the finish

September 14, 2007

I work at an unusual interactive marketing agency. And by unusual, I mean ‘appreciates the staff.’ Our agency offers comp time to the creative team. Comp time is defined as any billable time beyond the 8 hour workday/40 work week. Last Friday, I was informed at work that I have accumulated 213 hours of comp/paid time off.

5+ weeks of vacation. I started plotting immediately.

Our Emeryville project has been pushed back a week or so with contractual and specification details. My other two projects are out for client review. I have my manuscript deadline looming at the end of the month. Things aligned quite nicely. I quietly arranged to take a week and a half off from work, 72 of my 213 hours. When I told Janet I was taking some extended time off, she was elated. She smiled her wonderful smile and said, “Now you can paint the house.”

Frustration abated
I believe I found the end to my book. It’s both plausible more than convenient (a must for me), and, as coincidence would arrange it, opens the opportunity of a sequel. I’d been in a strange way for a week or so after the Emeryville Welcome. I wasn’t sleeping very well. Worst of all, I’d lost focus my focus on the book. It was the slight disruption to my internal task list that ultimately wasn’t very slight. Before we were accosted in Emeryville, I had my plan straight: I’d work on the book after our meetings and such in my room. After we were accosted, I allowed myself to be distracted by the lingering lameness of the three punks. I should have corrected my course at the time; recognized my distraction, let it go, and refocused. But I didn’t. I’m not haranguing myself, just acknowledging the events that have thrown my deadline back by at least two weeks or more.

On the path to completion
Now without the Emeryville Welcome and the fallout from it, I wouldn’t have stepped back from my breakneck pace to see where I was going. Ahem, where they are going.

One of the challenges on the path to completion, is connecting the characters to the finale. As I guide each towards his or her place at the end of the story, the path is never as tidy as I imagine. From the book, life rarely meets expectation, and I’m finding this true to the fictional lives of these characters. I’ll be interested to see how they respond to predestination, or if they’ll pull a Pirandello’s revolt and go wherever they want.

Time to scrape, prime, and paint the house.

24 days remaining (565:44:15)

Frustration builds

September 1, 2007

It’s more than the book. It’s a number of things all coming together. The result: I’m unbearable. I don’t excuse the behavior, I look forward to learning to cope better than I do now.

Two years ago this Christmas, my car was stolen from in front of our house. They found it totaled later that day near the Canadian border. We’ve never replaced the car; it was good motivation for me to make the switch to biking to work everyday. It was a good health decision, because it’s the only time I get to exercise anymore.

Now our family car is starting to really show the strain of managing our family. It’s trashed. It hits me every time we get into the car. See, our two year old son shoved two two CDs into the CD player, now it makes a terrific noise whenever we start the car. The autolock was “fixed” the last time we took it to the shop. $400 and the noise stopped for a grand total of one day. Actually, less than a day. Crazy.

I need to paint the house, but, c’mon, who really wants to paint a house? I can’t afford to fix our car, how am I going to pay to paint the house? Let’s not start on the roof, the floors, or the windows.

But it’s not just money, tonight we were committed to another family/friend get together. We had one last weekend, and we’re on the hook for another next weekend. These events drive me crazy. It’s rare that I get any time (or time that is not with assistance) to work on the house, now to have another day of another weekend taken out from under me is really getting old.  I try to go with the flow, you know, the path of least resistance and all that: I cram writing the book into the hour or so after everyone goes to bed. But sometimes I don’t handle it well at all. Like a teenager, or worse. I embarrass myself.

See, I’ll get all anxious and bent out of shape, Janet and I will have another ‘chat’ about the various priorities we have, and then I’ll have two pressure-filled weekends or so to prove the efficacy of my time when applied to our priorities, lest our schedule begin to slip into additional social engagements.

Tonight, our daughter chose to bring her little animals to the tub for her bath and one is stuck in the…

Me, me, me…ugh. You know, I’m bored with this. Whining. I loath it. It’s all I’ve done the last four days.

The point of posting this? I’ve no idea. I suppose I wanted to show there is a human/life element to this process. Or I needed to purge. Lucky you, heh?

37 days remaining (866:10:24)