New office chair (thank you, Ursula) is in place, it is super comfortable, and my back has already sent out hand-written thank you notes to my brain, which my brain greatly appreciates. I am having a weird hair day. Not a bad one, merely a weird one, which is why there are messy buns and beak clips. I am wearing both an infinity scarf and sandals, a sure sign that it is September in New York. I have learned, only about five minutes ago, and a day after I used a wrench to open a particularly sticky bottle of seltzer, that what I thought was a mini-mousepad is actually a bottle opener grippy thing.
I have had said grippy thing since the NECRWA conference this past spring, and it took me that long to figure it out. If I hadn’t noticed that the surface of the supposed min-mousepad, which should have been smooth (which is kind of the whole point) was textured and kind of rubbery-pebbly, but in a grid-ish sort of fashion rather than actual pebbles, I probably still wouldn’t know, and would keep toting the darned thing around, rather than tossing it in the kitchen drawer where I now know it belongs. This also means that mini-mousepad goes on my list of desired (preferably pink) computer accessories.
This was not my only d’oh-worthy discovery of the afternoon. The notebook in which I made notes that I had planned to transcribe today? Left it at home. Okay. Slightly different focus to today’s session, then. When packing my tote, my brain was too busy with the “is it time to put away the summer tote for the season” debate to notice that I had not actually brought the notebook that was the whole point of going out, but I can do what’s on the index cards for now and fill in the rest when notebook and I are in the same place. I will admit to a small voice in the back of my head, whispering that it’s a sign I should instead use the time to watch Friday Night Lights, but I am not listening to that voice during writing time. Writing time is writing time, and much as I love spending time with Coach Taylor and the gang (mostly Tim; came for Jason Street, aka Future Mr. Amber Holt, stayed for Tim Riggins, still don’t care about football, but love the passion for the game) they are not going to get this book written. That’s my job. I show up, Hero and Heroine show up, too, and we all hit the field…er, page, which is when the magic happens.
I like knowing where I’m going, how I’m going to get there, and who’s going with me. I’ve tried pantsing, but as a person who has actually sustained physical injury from putting on pants, that is not a tactic that works well for me. There is a component of flying into the mist when following the original idea -the best characters and/or stories are the ones that find me- but when I know where the journey of a particular book is going, I want to know how we’re going to get there, what the stops are along the way, and leave enough room for some fun surprises.
Learning to ask for what I need is a new thing for me, and that includes asking myself…and listening. That’s scary. What do I need right now? Do I need to touch paper? Step away from the keyboard, touch some paper. Maybe my version of black on white that I need right now is actually purple on pattern. Am I not physically comfortable right now? If I am, how so? Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Do I not have what I need to know what happens in this scene? If so, I can go get it. Maybe that means popping online, to check a bit of information. Maybe it means I need to talk about it to a write friend, online or face to face. Maybe the missing bit is at the bottom of a cup of tea or at the end of a movie or TV episode that has the right feel, or that actor who does that thing in that scene. Maybe it’s in the middle of the bridge of that song I can’t get out of my head, or somewhere in the book my brain keeps going back to when I don’t yank its leash.
I’m at the end of my blog time for today, so I’m going to take some inspiration from Skye’s weekly signoff and say that’s about it for this entry. Sometimes, what I need is a good pointless babble, which, in reflection, makes it not that pointless after all. There is an inherent order into unexpected side trips, as long as they get me back on the main road, and I am going to call that good enough.