In Which Our Heroine Is a Scruffy-Looking Brain-Herder

7 May 2006

I have been buying birthday and wedding presents with my pajamas on and my chin on my knee. I love the internet. If I could just think of the right Mother's Day presents, I would be golden, but I expect the internet is not to blame for that. (I just went to poke around Amazon in search of a good present, and it suggested that I should treat myself to Buddy Holly, "The Pirates of Penzance," or a Jon Courtenay Grimwood novel. Oh, Amazon. You have, if not my entire number, at least several of its prime factors.)

My big chore for the evening is to refrain from coming up with a big chore for the evening. This is harder than it looks. When I convince my brain that this is my day off, and therefore it should not be working on the last two chapters of The Mark of the Sea Serpent, it says, "Oh, good! Because there's this short story I've been wanting to do, and it's SF for a change!" So we explain to the brain, carefully, that short stories do too count as work. And then the brain decides that it must be time to do every last thing possible around the house, quick, before we're allowed to work on the book again.

Brains. Do you ever hear people talk about herding cats and wonder why they felt the plural was necessary to the expression? I think herding brains is like that.

Anyway, the trick this week will not be finishing the book but rather doing other necessary tasks alongside it. If the list didn't have several scheduling items on it, I would just leave everything else for when the book is done, but timing matters when you're scheduling things; calling Monday is superior to calling Wednesday late afternoon for obvious reasons. So I can't just dive into book and come out blinking in the middle of the week. Bear talks about the pigs needing slopping after the apocalypse, and it's true, but sometimes the pigs need slopping during the apocalypse if you're going to eat or sleep or have anywhere to do any of those things after. And book-writing, despite what some writer-types want you to believe, is orders of magnitude less than the apocalypse. Several orders of magnitude. Even when you're writing about the apocalypse, which, thankfully, I am not. Not in this book. That comes later. Several books later, in fact. I hope. Because it gets tiresome if the apocalypse keeps popping up: oh, another end of the world? Yawn. I wonder whether the Simpsons rerun is a good one. I haven't seen the Sherry Bobbins episode in awhile.

Right then. I think it's back to Ken MacLeod for me.

Back to Novel Gazing.

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