Good morning, me. Everything I need is right in front of me. Coffee is within reach. Prism-rainbows are dancing on the walls. And the writerly will, the spirit, is in my head.

I have the unfortunate habit, sometimes, of not being where I am; of being where I’ll be next. Knowing that the termite guy is about to get here, knowing that the ride to SGF is ahead, knowing all the stuff that needs to get done…these are the things that occupy my head.

So instead, in the writing, I go into prep mode. I hold the work at a distance… like one of those dogs on YouTube, made to hold the biscuit on the snout until the release command comes.

There’s something cool in that. It’s foreplay. Delayed gratification. A forced space to consider what must be considered. I’m chompin’ to get to it. But I’ll review instead of write; read instead of create.

Moments like this wouldn’t be possible without the preparation of the days that preceded this one. As scattered as my head has been, I at least have that to claim for myself. The transcribing of notes from numerous sources, the loose ordering of them (I’ve begin naming those files “[CHAPTER#] Construct” to make clear the identity of the working document), and, in this case, a re-reordering in outline form—an absolute necessity in a chapter as technically complex as this one.

Tricky. I’ll confess this much: It’s a chapter built upon a “conversation”, a shared research, between an aware-comatose person and the woman at his bedside. A one-sided, two-sided collaboration. Whoa. The work of pulling off a feat like this one is huge. And daunting. And exciting. And I can’t wait to get it under way.

Okay, I cheat. I cheat on the lover in myself, that delayed gratification commitment I made. The coming of the dark is a scary place when the beauty of the work lights the days. As the sun sets on full days of exhausting work, I linger at the page, sometimes. I tease. I tweak. Too tired to get down to anything serious, I throw words at the screen to see whether they’ll begin to sing to me; whether they’ll be willing to play.

I leave the TV on as the dark comes, noise, only. I resign myself to sleep. The little tape recorder comes to bed with me…in the hope that the night will be as generous as the hard-won day. And tomorrow, it will start all over again.

Bless this writer’s life.

 

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