Heavy Text Flow Day

I’m certainly doing better than I was yesterday. I ran into a bunch of people I knew, all together, and I really wanted to go out with them, but I was feeling so ill I warned them away, telling them I was sick sick sick and that they’d best stay clear. (Jerome, the French artist I know and see around once in a while, shook hands with me anyway, and I sternly advised him to wash his hand.) It was awful, awful, awfulawful. I took a taxi home though it wasn’t dark yet, and simply lay down and read one of the little books I’d picked up, called A Letter to Christendom by Rana Kabbani. Interesting, though seemingly out of print; just an Arab woman living in the West, reflecting on her identity and the decisions she made in adopting it, reflecting on her various experiences as the child of an ambassador in many different countries, and so on. After all 70 pages of that I fell into a deep sleep, and woke to find ,myself very warm and comfy. So I got up, fetched my computer from the closet in which I’d locked it, and began to write. And write, and write. I took another nap, and when I woke for real, I began writing some more, and then, well…

Well, I’m on a writing high, one of those heavy flows. I wrote about 30 pages today that were good and usable, including one of the first things in this novel that made me cry while I wrote it. (Curiously enough, it’s where I’m discussing Korean old-fart music, except really it’s a springboard for talking about the history of Korea leading up to the time when, post-nuclear-exchange, post-second-korean-war, one of my characters is sitting in a bar in a reconstruction camp up north, surrounded by foreign refugees brough in for the cheap labour, listening to the music. I don’t know how to explain it, so I guess you’ll just see it when you do, and you’ll know what I was weeping and blathering about.

It looks like I have maybe 70-100 pages left to go in this book. All the major stuff is done except a couple of sections, and then there are some interstitial interviews. That, and the first section *desperately* needs a total rewrite, to be more in medias res (I tell WAY too damned much in that opening part, trying to flood my readers with this future, when the best way to do that is drop them into some inexplicable moment that encapsulates the future, instead… which, luckily, there are enough of in the opening section.) I only stopped today because my bnack and especially my backside hurt from sitting still for so long, and because I realized I would need a dinner more substantial than a peantu butter sandwich if I were to get through all the other writing I have ahead of me for today. When the cleaning lady, Sala, showed up to tidy, wash my clothes, and wash the one dish I’d left in the sink, I wrapped up what I was doing and decided to get out of the house, which brings me here…

I’m less sniffly than yesterday, which is a good sign. I’m hoping some hot ginger and some soup will make up the difference so that when I get home I’ll be in fine health and ready to run off another 20 pages. I intend to take advantage of this state I’m in if I can at all. But, I need to get out of here and do some walking around, if my back’s to hurt any less than it now does. Besides, daylight’s a-wasting.

One last thought: living in a little house alone for a while does funny things to you. One of them is that it makes you more reflective about things. I can see how it would have affected Thoreau, and to be honest I think it could make a much finer poet out of me if I did it for a few years (and managed not to go mad…). I wonder if I shall ever have the chance to do that. Hell, even just for a month at a time would be good for my verse-production—quality, I mean, not quantity. Well, maybe quantity, too. We’ll see. I’ll have to look into it when I am a little older and ready to write real poems.

I’m grinning, if you hadn’t guessed.

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