Being a writer is something of a lonely pastime (or profession, I suppose). Unless you're fortunate enough to collaborate with another person (and I have only two or three times ever), it's just you and the blank page or notebook, making your own decisions, thinking your own ways out of predicaments, sharing your minor triumphs just with yourself. So, in that way, nothing for me has changed between the end of March and the end of February (or January, or December).
Except that I do it in my car instead of the library now.
As I think I mentioned on Monday, I (all-too-briefly) spoke to someone who is going out of her frigging mind being unable to go out and socialize like a bunch of grim grinning ghosts at a midnight spree. Apparently, seeing her family and her friends who come over and her pals at work is like a genital cuff, and not in a good way, and though I don't necessarily sympathize, I don't want people who are unhappy to be unhappy, so there's that.
As of now, we are not yet on lockdown. So, there's a blessing to be counted. My cousin in Las Vegas did get a positive test for Covid-19, and his sister is currently in quarantine. I offered to try and figure out some way to do a virtual karaoke activity over the internet with her, but I don't think anybody else is as excited about that.
Oh, except for my niece. I called her today . . . and holy Raquel Welch in a Smilodon thong, she actually answered the phone. Cathexis is stuck at home alone (or at least today she was, as her boyfriend was at work), and seemed to be going quite stir crazy. Crazy enough to talk to me for a while. She said she would be happy to do karaoke with me, and told me that, once movie theaters open again and return to normal, she'd like to go see ROCKY HORROR at the indie theater where I took her to see THE ROOM. She's still never seen the movie, even though, like me and her mother before her, she knows all the songs (my sister and I saw it at the NuArt Theater in Los Angeles, at a midnight show, where we had giant Vs painted on our faces and were sexually harassed by a bunch of strangers up on stage along with anybody else who had never seen the movie before).
I told Cathexis that, if we ever do karaoke together, we should do There's A Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place) together, and she said we would. The idea of that brings me right up to the barrier between what I'm feeling now and happiness.
Oh, I got to one of those nasty sentences I stole from Stephen King in the book. In "The Stand," the part Big and I always talk about is when King has Stu and the other survivors go their separate ways as they head to Vegas, and writes, "And none of them ever saw Stu Redman again." I remember reading that for the first time (1990, it was), and it hitting me like a ton of bricks, that King would give away the ending like that, and so brazenly, so dismissively. And it cast a shadow over the rest of the book, knowing Stu would not survive . . . it's something I love Stephen King for to this day.*
Well, I did it in Chapter 8, and just edited that bit. I wonder how well that part works in the story, and I'm reminded of talking to someone who absolutely hates stuff like that in people's writing. Pretty sure it's Big Anklevich, since he's the only one I would've talked to about books. It might bother people reading my story, or it might not. But it unbothers me, if that's a word (and it's not).
I hopped on the microphone for another hour or so, and recorded Chapters 18 and 19. There was one bit that I felt worked really well--me attempting to turn this quaint little kiddie magic book into a horror story. I hope that works too.
By the time I finished recording, it was after two-thirty, and I hadn't gotten many words written at all. Talk about going out like a lamb. Sigh.
Words Today: 375
Words In March: 39,627
In other words, I wrote just a few words under what the Hugo Awards would qualify as a novel in the month of March, but that's 8,356 words less than what I wrote in February (which, in my defense, was my most productive month ever, and one with an open library in it).
But also, in my sixty days in a row of writing, my grand total is 87,579. That's almost ninety thousand words--way more than I get in a usual year.
And it ain't over yet, is it?
Rish Outfield, last day of March
*If you've read the book, then you understand what I mean by that. It's similar to when I told my friend Jeff that (the great) Christopher Lee was playing the main bad guy in the Lord of the Rings movies. And Jeff said, "No, he's playing Saruman. He's a one of the wizards like Gandalf--he's a good guy." And so, when Saruman turned evil in the movie, I was not prepared for that at all, and I don't know if I ever thanked Jeff for saying that. Even if I had, there's no way he'd remember that now.