Monday, March 21, 2005

Spring Break Road Trip

I'm on vacation this week, my office closes when the schools close for Spring Break, and I just wanted to check in before I got in the car and went on a little road trip. And where do you suppose I'm going for Spring Break? To judge a tightie-whitie contest in Palm Springs? To do Jell-O shots off the meaty chest of an inebriated football jock in Myrtle Beach? To host an MTV house-party in Cancun, where I shall announce the hottest videos of the spring while rubbing cocoa-butter into the glittering bronzed skins of board-shorted Business majors?


And then I wake up.

I am preparing, just now, to drive Grandmother up to Folsom to visit her niece overnight. We're going to stop in Vacaville for a late lunch, too, and maybe hit the outlet mall on the way back! During the rest of the week, I'm going to clean my room, do my laundry, take my car to the tire-store and a body-shop, have a root canal, and work on my novel! Whooo-oo! Let's get this party started!


I don't know if it's leftover depression or what, but my mood has continued to baffle and confuse me this week. I feel so up-and-down, sad and sour and silly and snappish in turns.

Yesterday I had what can only be described as a Surprise Temper Tantrum, I lost my patience with Grandmother and the idiotically slapstick situation of trying to get her, her oddly heavy Bible and slippery accompanying notebook, her twenty-pound old-lady purse, and two open boxes of Girl Scout cookies up the front stairs while holding an umbrella; by the time I finally got her to the front porch, spilling Mystic Mints along the way, I flipped out and started screaming at the rain, jumping up and down and stomping the spilled cookies into the wet sidewalk. Later in the evening, I started crying while watching Legally Blonde on TV, and then had a real bawlfest while watching Peter Pan on DVD. It was really weird.

I had been irritable all day, mostly from lack of sleep, but exacerbated by that peculiarly glaring quality of light that comes between deluges of rain, and Grandmother's and Daddy's continuing deafness, and Grandmother's tendency to fuss and pick at useless things: "Is this safety pin yours?" she asked, plucking a tiny bit of wire off the littered floor of the car, while I was trying to get her out of the car and into the house before the rain started... who else's could it be? It's my car...and what the hell difference does it make? You either pick it up or you leave it the fuck alone, you don't ask dumbass questions about its provenance while somebody is standing in the rain waiting for you to get out of the goddamned car! GAH!

Do you ever get the feeling that your life would be a lot more pleasant if other people weren't so damned irritating? But one can't make them, so one strives to be less irritable... I do a lot to retain my patience when what I really want to do is scream imprecations, and it would be nice if other people would meet me halfway and not do those things that inspire the imprecations in the first place; but I guess that's too much to ask.


I am very much looking forward to working on Worst Luck this week. I think "Chapter 2" stands up pretty well, the only editing it needs is to clean up some repeated words make the separate parts flow together seamlessly. But "Chapter 3" is going to be a lot more challenging. I made a lot of notes on how to fix it, retaining the basic narrative while inserting a lot more emotional explication and toning down the inventory-like tone of some of the descriptions, and I am excited about having the time tospend on making them real.

It's going to get a lot longer, I think... it occurred to me while I was making notes yesterday (I bought myself a lovely leather-bound journal to keep notes in, which I can take with me into church or meetings or anyplace else I'm sitting around, wasting time, not doing anything) that this is a really important chapter, at least as important in establishing characters as "Chapter 1" was; I decided that I should spend a comparable amount of time and words to establish the characters of Valerien and Marquesa as I spent establishing the character of Danny. While I'm sure the reader wants to get along to the meat of the story, I think a thorough understanding of the characters is important before getting on to the murder itself.


Well, that's what's going on in my world today. I'm off to Folsom soon, and look forward to being bored out of my mind for the next twenty-four hours. But I'm taking the office laptop with me and will be working on my novel while I'm there, so it won't be an utter waste of time.

Pip-pip cheerio!

No comments:

Post a Comment