It was a crazy-long set of days at work last week, so I missed my weekly writing goal, as predicted. But not by as much as I had thought: I wrote 833 words on the two nights I thought I was absolutely too tired to be productive. Maybe it’s a thing where my brain needs to shut down to a basic level to let the words flow. I remember Kait blogging a while back about her inner editor being too asleep early in the morning to get in the way of word production; I may have proven the point for myself last week. Otherwise known as: Your excuses don’t matter; your actions do.
Or I may be just pretending, along with all the other adults out there who are out there acting like they have the adulting thing mastered. The work event was certainly an interesting opportunity to observe personalities and interpersonal dynamics as teams reported on six months’ worth of progress to goal for funding received. The serial attack of throat-clearing and low-voiced non-projection wasn’t always warranted, and I think hubs should’ve maybe sent out the link he recently forwarded me about the importance of body language to a wider audience.
Then too, I’ve been sensitized to watching for those things and being able to pinpoint their description through my writing. And through moving testimonies of lessons learned through painful experiences–in one case, what a newly divorced man wished someone had given him as marriage advice. Or this article about how emotionally abused people learn to love differently–that last has certainly informed my characterization of Tara in The Builders, which just got its first preview shout-out on the Lloyd Reads blog last week.
I’m trying to ignore the fact that a friend of mine just pointed out–and spent a couple hours brainstorming details about–a fantastic new plot bunny. That I don’t have time for this year at all… but have set up a Google doc to keep track of how hobgoblins in the DC suburbs are the ultimate access point to The Corridors of Power… Current political climate issues may or may not be driving this madness.
Otherwise, I am seeing an up-tick in our walking, and even my phone agrees I’m averaging at least 1,950 steps a day this week again. I know we can do better. I felt a little pathetic today when we took our first mile-long walk in almost a month and I came home in a full sweat. Of course, KouKi was dragging me the whole way, no matter how I worked with her–she was just too excited to be out enjoying the glorious weather with the whole family together to settle down. On the other hand, we both got our resistance training in, and she’s been calm and happy since we got home. We also spent more time catching up with our shows. I’ve now watched the X-Files all the way through its six-episode mini-season. I loved the parenthood leitmotif and its sense of irreverent, self-referential humor… but I still want to wring Chris Carter’s neck for ending on such a blatant cop-out of a cliff-hanger. I know he’s said there will be more, but ending right in the middle of the action drives me nuts. It’s a thing that will make me down-rate stories of any kind–book, movie, or TV. For me, it speaks to a misunderstanding of the nature of a satisfying story arc as well as a crass “I’ll make sure you buy the next one, just to answer the questions that made you jump out of your chair at the end of the last one” kind of commercialism. Not that we don’t all have families to feed with our art, but compelling characters should be sufficient drivers for a return to a storyteller’s wares without that crutch. [end rant]
We also finished watching The Expanse. It got, if possible, even more gory and gruesome toward the end of the season, but these story writers understood the cadence of their story arc and our investment in these characters to end on a satisfying, if very dark, note. We’re happy to wait for its return, too. Finally, we caught a few more episodes of Agent Carter. What’s interesting to me about the second season is that the basic premise remains the same: Peggy is mostly on her own pursuing what she knows is the moral high ground while trying to match wits with a scientific genius. And it’s, if possible, even more gripping this second time around. We’re getting flashbacks to her history, which I can see will be key to understanding how the effort to undermine her toward the end of the season will play out. We’re getting fully fleshed out female protagonists AND antagonists and a whole new depth of understanding of the straits women had to walk in the 40s and 50s. I am more and more of a fan.
Other things tickling my story-teller brain: A new documentary about the Lakota/Dakota as horse people, “Horse Nation“. And recent news that the Babylonians knew more about Jupiter than astronomers in the 13th and 14th centuries. That far-back historical perspective bleeds through in The Builders to a low level, because the idea of evolution of ideas that are lost and must be re-explored anew has long fascinated me. We have this need to imagine a linear progression of societal growth, organization, and success, which, more often than not, is disproved by historical fact. Still, we cling to it, imagining some moral and societal superiority over previous generations.
This week, my schedule should return to its more normal pace. I’m hoping to write more than just two nights of the week, to catch up with where I had anticipated being to complete my WIP by the end of March–when I have visitors coming to stay for 10 days, so can’t work at writing. In the meantime, check out my fellow ROW80ers, and I’ll be back again to report on progress next week.