What was once cause for panic and dismay, this week was more of a sense of accomplishment and celebration: I wrote no new fiction words. It’s always an odd place to be at the end of a project. Should I start right away on something new? Should I wait to get into something new until after I’ve heard back from my editor? Maybe I just need a break.
Actually, I definitely needed a break. We had fallen behind on our shows, so we caught up with both Designated Survivor and The Expanse. We had wanted to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 while it was still in IMAX 3D, and enjoyed it so much we managed that not only once, but twice. And I had been sequestering myself in my office for so long, pushing so hard against the noodle that wouldn’t cooperate before, all at once, it did and I was done, that it was important to take some time to enjoy each other’s company. Appreciate the fact that I have a partner who values creativity so much he lets me disappear into my writing cave like that. Enjoy the company of someone whose story is as endlessly fascinating to parse and revisit as my favorite written stories.
So this week’s quote is appropriate both for its acknowledgment that I totally let go of one of my goals, but also that I had a lot of fun filling my creative well again, dancing with life. Accordingly, my phone says I averaged 4,285 steps per day, so we beat that goal, at least. I also discovered that there’s a special kind of hammock available in Germany that would entice me to spend a lot of time outside looking at the sky. Maybe someday.
On the other end of the maybe someday spectrum, a friend is currently visiting South Africa as part of a class trip for her degree, and one of the tours she took was of the one square mile town of Alexandra. Trying to imagine a population of over a million crammed into that space, and the variation between the slum and the more commercial areas was stretching my brain in unusual ways. It was an odd echo of an article I read in The Atlantic of the perpetuation of slavery in very recent Philippine customs. The article is written in first person by an award-winning journalist who died the day before the magazine decided to run it as their cover article, and is a profound view into the differences in culture and expectations that exist across the globe. Even in the US, human trafficking has seen a massive uptick this year, so the inclination to view some humans as disposable is still a despicable thread in many lives.
On a related note, fellow author Alicia Anderson wrote another great piece on “being average” this week. She points out the historical context of where averages and statistics come from to make the point that these numeric constructs really have no place in defining humans. Finding and holding people to some fictional norm thus creates a different level of misery.
It’s hard not to want to write a story that gives voice to some of these issues.
Or maybe I’ll take some friends suffering from kidney stones on a few roller coaster rides.
Either way, there are other writing-related tasks I need to finish dealing with this week. As regular visitors might have noticed, I gave my blog a facelift last week, and am now looking into adding the necessary bits to build my in-house mailing list. I’m also participating in a multi-genre party to help introduce readers to new authors this week. (If you’re interested in participating, it’s all online, via Facebook, so easy to check in to and out of as time permits.)
We’re also still a month out from completing this round of ROW80, so the whole group is busily chipping away at goals. I’ll keep reporting on mine, and continue soliciting feedback on which project I should pursue next. Until next week…