Sunday, September 21, 2008
Second Act Insanity
Something I've noticed: the middle of every novel drives me insane.
Driving hard, never stopping, it's no wonder some of the more tender gears start to slip.
My first novel, large quantities of beer in the sun played a major part. At the time, I chalked up those crazy couple months to the effects of beer, and sun. My second, I got through that Scary, Saggy Middle in a deep and wistful melancholy. I blamed it on the winter, the poverty of those days, the cold and the lack of light.
Those novels seemed important at the time, but really, they were practice. By #3, when I gave away my car (in favor of my mountain bike) and reconnected with (and horribly, hopelessly alienated) several old friends from college now living Out East, I started to notice a pattern.
The recently finished #4 was one hell of a long hard slog. Long enough, and hard enough, that I went crazy twice: I found myself compelled to shave with straight razors, and later, to write with a dip pen.
Insane. Bloody insane.
So as I cruise past my Enormous and Stakes-Changing Center of my latest, I've kept a chary eye peeled. At 40,000 words, the worst I'd seen was that I reconnected with the Southern side of my heritage by making iced tea again: probably the first pitcher I've made in twelve or thirteen years. My cute wee Kiwi thinks the idea of cold tea is a crime against nature, but she eats whitebait.
I thought maybe this time, I had a pass.
No such luck. :-)
Turns out the owner of my tattoo shop is getting itchy feet. He's opening a new place across town, and I'm taking over the current place. So now my life is a flurry of equipment purchases, jewelry wholesalers, retail stock and the hiring and training of new staff. Exciting, yes. Exciting and something else.
Insane, that's the word. Bloody insane.
Day 43, the Full Throttle Daily Wordcount-O-Meter stands at 47,100.
Some things never change.