Here there be catastrophes

This has been a rather trying day, compounded by the fact that not! one! single! word! has gotten from my head to my manuscript, not for lack of trying, but for lack of knowing which of three pivotal scenes that set up the next half of the book need to happen first.  Anybody got a three-sided coin I can flip?

I began my day by stepping on Scrabble, hard.  Completely by accident, of course, but tell her that.  I am a Bad, Evil Catmom, so I am, and I fully expect to hear from the CommitteeCat down to Boston in a couple days.  It used to be that these matters were handled immediately by the Portland CommitteeCat, but in these thin-stretched times, the union has had to consolidate territories.  That means a week or so lag time, by which point both Scrabble and I will have forgotten this Unfortunate Incident, but the paperwork will still need to be satisfied.

I also spent a lot of time on the phone today learning the difference between “free” and “free” when applied to health insurance coverage, and what coding means to me.  I’m better informed, but more depressed, now.

In relation to catastrophes, my colleague D.B. Jackson is doing a fundraiser for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing victims.  Read all about it here and please help if you can.

The capping catastrophe of the day is the news that Andy Offutt (andrew j. offutt) has died.  I was fond of Andy; as a beginning writer, he welcomed me unreservedly into the profession and he was, in our all-too-few dealings, kind and generous.

. . .I believe that I’ll take a walk, now, and listen to the peepers.

Everybody have a good evening.

* * *

Progress on Carousel Seas

48,825/100,000 OR 48.83% complete

I looked at him in horror.

“Tell me I didn’t kill Daknowyth.”

“Katie. . .” Mr. Ignat’ took my hands in his. His smile was fond, which didn’t necessarily mean that I hadn’t killed Daknowyth.

4 thoughts on “Here there be catastrophes”

  1. May I suggest that you do one of two things. Either use your favorite card system to determine the first scene to write (suits, high or low number, tarots, etc.) or…

    Write #3 first.

    Then you will have a good idea what to do next.

    Tomorrow will be better.

  2. I can’t do much to undo catastrophe’s but can send warm and supportive thoughts your way. Perhaps a cuddle with Scrabble would help on all fronts?

  3. I can send hugs on my behalf, and joyful little-kid energy on my children’s. You know, the unreserved and unrelenting enjoyment and wonder at EVERYTHING. Especially wonderful during a walk listening to peepers.

  4. In the “you are not alone” category, let me quote a post from Lev Grossman, one of the other authors whose blog I occasionally follow (, who seems to be in just about your position while writing his current sequel-novel:

    “One of the weird things about novel-writing is how different it is from what you’d think writing a novel is like, based on the experience of reading novels. When I read a novel the overwhelming impression I get is of how easy it must have been. I mean, come on, people: it’s obvious what comes next. It’s obvious what she would say in that situation — what else could she possibly have said? Sheezus. When you’re reading, writing doesn’t feel like writing, it feels more like transcribing.

    Whereas: when you’re actually doing it, when you’re writing and you’re in the thick of it, it’s totally different. It’s like taking a drug, a relatively harmless hallucinogen, say, and discovering that you’ve been burned on the deal, and it’s been cut with some violently psychoactive s**t. You ricochet from divine arrogance to crippling depression, from inspired certainty to total disintegrated confusion to listless boredom. It’s not obvious what happens next; in fact at every given moment you’re violently confronted by an infinite number of possibilities for what could happen next.

    And strangely, despite their being infinite in number, every single one of these possibilities is wrong. The right possibility sits outside that infinite set, glaringly obvious to other people, but somehow unfindable by you, the writer.

    Fortunately you won’t remember any of this later. Afterwards, when you’ve got the finished book in your hands, all you’ll be able to think is: “My goodness I’m clever!”

    That and, “Let’s do that again!””

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