Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Lost Weekend

Goddess, I'm a wreck! This heat is fucking killing me. All this weekend I couldn't do anything except lay on the living room floor watching television, playing video games, eating popsicles, and suffering. It was one of the worst wastes of time I've ever experienced over a three-day weekend.

It wasn't a total waste, of course... I did get some laundry done (three loads to be exact), and I watched some good movies with Caroline on Sunday afternoon (Spirited Away and Cowboy Bebop, both excellent bits of anime, and the latter had a soundtrack that totally got me wet). But I didn't do any writing, I didn't do any housecleaning, and I was really looking forward to doing some of these over the long weekend. Three whole days off, and I just watched television... and for most of the time, I wasn't even watching the television programs, I was simply staring at the colors and pictures as they flashed by in hyperspeed.

I am sometimes amazed by the amount of crap that is on television. I know I shouldn't be, but the sheer volume of crap is just stunning. I only have seventy-five channels on my cable, and at least fifty of them I never watch at all (news channels, sports channels, foreign-language channels, documentary channels, local access channels), and on the channels I do watch there is only about 25% of their programming that I will ever sit through for an entire show.

But if I had digital cable, I'd have five hundred channels to choose from, and probably not many more that I actually watched... maybe twice as many watchable compared to six times as many overall. So if you consider the four hundred or so channels for which I would have no use, and then the 75% dreck-rate on the channels I do watch, it just boggles the mind to think about how much utter crap that all adds up to.

Of course, one has to take into account one's own tastes... I suppose there are a lot of channels and shows that are not, in and of themselves, crap — but I don't like them, so they may just as well be crap for all the good they do me.

Nevertheless, there I was, absorbing the crap, so sapped by the heat that I didn't have enough energy to even read a book or browse the internet... I just lay there, pushing the remote's buttons and occasionally getting up to eat or drink or pee or go to sleep. On Monday I varied the routine by playing my now-antiquated N64 video games, getting through the childhood portion and the first adult quest of The Legend of Zelda and the Ocarina of Time (for about the seventh time) in about three hours.

Every once in a while I would go into my room and try to write in Worst Luck, but nothing would come out. I got so sick of looking at that last paragraph where I was stuck that I seriously considered scrapping the entire project.

But I realized that I was worrying too much about forcing myself to a stopping-place, and letting that prevent me from furthering the story or sharing what I already have. I have to struggle against the urge to make it perfect the first time. So I posted what I had, and figured I could edit a little when I do get to the end of the chapter... I guess I married myself to the structure of parts of chapters being the only thing I posted on the Worst Luck site.

But then I reminded myself that the whole point of putting it in a blog was to gain forward momentum... and just because something isn't part of the story yet (I should be writing out notes when I have ideas for later and posting them along with the sections), or just because it's not a natural pausing-place in the narration, these are not important enough to stall the progress.

So I am going to henceforth be a little more focused on forward movement in the story instead of on form and perfection, which can and should be instituted after the first draft is done... I keep forgetting that the Worst Luck blog is a first draft, not a finished novel. So I am going to do the parts as first-draft, then edit the parts together into chapters that will be posted whole and separate... and then when the whole thing is done, I'll start revising it into its finished form.

The other point of putting it in a blog, of course, was to get feedback on the progress, to have people out there reading it and letting me know when I am getting too far off-track, or too self-indulgent in description, or too lazy about momentum. So please do go visit Worst Luck and tell me what you think.

In the meantime, thanks for listening to me bitch about heat and television. I'd better get back to work... today I am assembling fifty bankers' boxes for our move, and it's almost as restful as origami, if one were making cranes out of thick cardboard. Then I'm going home to take yet another shower, I'm all hot and sticky and I can't stand it!

Have a super day!

By the way, I just noticed the date-stamp... today is my grandfather's birthday! He would have been 101 today. He was a wonderful man, maybe not the nicest or the most enlightened, but he was remarkable: he cheerfully shouldered far more responsibilities than his pampered upbringing prepared him to handle, and he accomplished more than anyone could have expected of him.

I miss him a lot still, even though he's been dead for seventeen years and was non compos mentis for another five years before that. I'd show you a picture, but I've never scanned one... there's a project for me, as soon as I unearth my scanner and get it set up again.

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