Thursday, September 28, 2006


Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, no music, writing yesterday reserved for detailed photo list (*sigh*). So how could today be anything other than anticlimactic? I had myself so worked up by yesterday morning that I was ready to quit the whole project. And though reason has convinced me that I over reacted, my gut still tells me that I am right--that there is a fundamental mismatch between what the editor wants from me and what I want to do/have been doing. Life being what it is, you go on, make the best of it and Just Get Over It!

It's only 9:30 and I already have three kiln loads in and firing. The order that is scheduled to ship to the Art Institute tomorrow is ready to go today. I don't know what wild hair crawled up my nethers (besides the one about the book) but I have just been on fire, uh, firing (yeah, yeah, so I am having trouble writing... isn't that the crux of the issue anyway?).

Today is a writing day... again. Since my deadline schedule has been officially been revised at the publishers I am on schedule and not feeling too pressed. I write better when I am pressed. Some kids were able to start their school reports right when they were assigned. And they worked on them diligently, steadily, unhurriedly until they were due and then they calmly handed them in. I have *never* worked that way.

I am better with firing glass than I ever was with anything else because the kiln has a hard stop on how much can go in and how long it has to be in there. Math and physics cannot be bought or bribed or hoodwinked. They cannot be coerced or flattered. So if I have to get something done in the kiln by a certain time, there is a simple formula I have to follow to do it: Ship time minus 12 hours equals time to put in for slump. Time to put in for slump minus 12 hours equals time to put in for fuse. Since I usually do only one load a day, the 12-hour buffer spreads to anytime in 24 and gives me the time to prep for fuse and prep for slump.

But writing, ah writing. On a normal day (as opposed to an oh-my-gosh-I-am-so-far-behind-I=have-to-write-the-equivalent-of-War-and-Peace-Today day), I sit down with my MacBook on my lap and I open my word document for the current chapter or project. Then I flip to another screen and browse CNN. Then I flip back and open a spreadsheet or two to track my writing. The I write a sentence or two and have to look something up on Wikipedia. So I flip screens back to my browser, open a tab for Wikipedia and start researching. A side note on flipping screens: I am running desktop manager software and have four desktops with different application groupings open on each one. This configuration keeps me from having to dig through layers of windows on my screen.

After a bit of researching--either when I have found what I needed or feel that I have wasted too much time already on something that is probably going to get cut anyway, I flip back to my document and start writing again. Then I have to pee, or get coffee (the two are inextricably linked), or answer the phone, or call/IM someone. And the day passes. Maybe I get 300-400 words done. On that other kind of day whose name is too long to type again, I squirm till I absolutely MUST pee, Dave brings me coffee, and I leave the chair cramped after 12 straight hours with eyes crossed and reeking of crabbiness. But I have 3000 words written.

There must be a middle ground! I am not too old to change! Forty-five is the prime of life! Anything is possible! Blah, blah, blah. Now I have turned my little post for the day into another monument to procrastination and I MUST go write.

Thank you again to everyone who posted comments and wrote to me privately about my crise d'esprit yesterday.


Jodi said...

Hang in there. It sounds like things are movin' right along. (insert Muppet tune here).

Brenda Griffith said...

How about Life of Brian Monty Python tune? "Always look on the bright side of life, dee doo, dee doo dee dootie doo..."