Much Needed Yet Completely Off Topic Pop Culture Rant: As much as I hate myself for it, I can't stop (won't stop?) watching "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman". I just can't. Now is this because I believe that Bevin might actually be the first contestant to commit a felony assault on network television? Or because I could actually physically feel the awkwardness that Andy (the Bachelor who, it should be pointed out, does not move his facial muscles or open his mouth when speaking) felt when he realized that one of his top four contestants (Amber) was basically a 23 year old drama seeking sorority chick without parental approval to be on the show? Or that the most normal girl left doesn't even like him and seems freaked out by the entire premise of the show? Or that people still believe that maybe, maybe someone will actually get married at the end of a reality show contest taking place over six weeks? Or that the girls that go on it still express surprise and anger at the fact that he's also dating other women, even though they were the ones who tried out for the show knowing full well what it entails?? Or that I've actually spent time thinking about these things when I could have been doing other, important things like thinking up solutions to global warming or, I dunno, writing something?
Whew. Sorry. I needed to get that out.
Feelings: Renewed Curiosity in Unimportant Details
Fears: Mental Facilities Failing, Getting Overwhelmed with Changes I Need to Make Early in the Book, Not Eating Enough Protein, Women named Bevin
Thoughts: Like most people born in the 80s, I have undiagnosed problems paying attention to things for long periods of time. Whether you blame it on the Internet, or the proliferation of Text Messaging or the Rain, the point remains: I have trouble remaining occupied by one thing for more than a 20 minute block.
Some of this is productive. I come up with my best stuff wandering around a room, mumbling to myself, which--i've come to find out--is generally frowned upon in country club dining rooms. But other times, it's just that I feel this all-powerful urge to find out What Other Cooler Things Are Happening Elsewhere. I've touched on this before and I don't necessarily mean it in a physical sense, but more in the sense that I have all of the power of the Internet and my Cell phone and everything else in front of me. And so, you know, maybe I want to check and see if there is anything in the news on the NYTimes website or Boston.com or any one of the other news sites I convince myself I need to read, or on Slate, or on any of the blogs that I check out, or maybe I want to see what the stock market is doing, or the latest publishing news, or check out what profiles have been updated on Facebook, or Google myself, and then do it again using a different set of words, and then again.
And knowing this about myself just means that I have to change up the way that I write, especially when I'm going on a two week binge to try and finish a novel. So my solution usually involves locking myself in a public place without free access to the Internet (read: Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, well-lit movie theatre lobbies) where other people will be working, which encourages me to work, and keeps me off the 'Net so I can't go browsing Zappos for the latest in mens footwear, or make hypothetical trades on stocks I just heard about in the boo-yah free zone on Jim Cramer's Mad Money.
And even after taking all of this time and all of these pre-cautions I sometimes can't stop (won't stop?) going back in my book, looking at the pages of drivel from early in the book when my character outlines consisted of one sentence bio's (example: Tristan: cool guy, but not totally a cool guy?) and feeling this overwhelming sense that I need to go back and fix everything right away.
So, friends, my point in all of this is that: writing is f-ing tough for me, and writing a novel if even more f-ing tough than all of the other stuff that I imagined I'd do, and writing a novel that doubles as your thesis that you want to be proud of and that you hope that your friends will eventually steal from their local public library is the toughest, most mentally demanding thing that I've done since I got braces. But, hopefully, like those same metallic, socially crippling attachments of my middle school years, I will look back on this not as a time of ridicule and pain, but as a process that will ultimately make something beautiful. Like my smile, post braces, pre-me not wearing my retainer.
Question to Ponder: Is it normal that I can only remember sex scenes in any of the five or so Ken Follett novels I've read?
Every Rose Has It's Thorn,
PS- pictured below: a typical Orthodontical funfest, googles included.