So it's Saturday night. Across the globe, couples dance and drink in seedy bars, go to sporting events, throw parties, take in movies, go on wild crime sprees that always end in a Tijuana prison cell, lying on the floor with a nude Barbie doll. And I? Well, I'm at Half Price Books. Typing away.
Why Half Price Books, you might ask. Well, two reasons. One, they have free wi-fi, though half the time I'm not able to get my laptop to talk to it (ie, tonight). There are also lots of tables in the common area, and some of them face the aquarium. I'm big on aquariums. I miss my fish. There's also a little coffee shop that sells fine Italian sodas and decadent sweet things that I'm not supposed to have. But most importantly, Half Price Books isn't my house and doesn't have a ten-week-old kitten gallumphing at high speed around corners and down hallways, causing hiss fests with other cats and occasionally launching herself at my feet in a brutal takedown attack that's evidently supposed to render me footless (no luck there so far).
Besides, Starbucks is too pricey and when I order something as mundane as a regular coffee, all the overdressed rich women who apparently have nothing better to do than hang out there look at me like I'm crazy.
Mainly, I just like to get out behind my desk and go out into the wild. You know. Libraries. Bookstores. Coffee establishments. Anywhere I can sit, look busy, type fast and deflect curiosity. I used to do my blog posts at Afrah and then one night this like 18-year-old waiter tried to pick me up, not realizing I was old enough to be his mother (which was nice, if a little awkward). I still go to Afrah sometimes, but tonight I'm at Half Price. There's no pita bread here, unfortunately.
And how's the writing going, anyway, you ask. Well, it's been better. I've been kicking around a small thing that I'll probably go back and work on in a few minutes here, and I've got another thing that's basically done but needs some major slash and burn editing, and there's another one that's almost done but I think I'm going to have to go back some 80 pages from the end, just chop them the hell off and make it all happen differently. Which I'm not up for at the moment.
The truth is, I haven't been very excited about anything I've written since I finished the increasingly inaccurately named Mindbender trilogy. (Quadrology? Quintology?) I've been able to get angry enough to write something Serious (the thing that's basically finished), but I'm not sure I hit the point I'd been trying to make and I'm equally not sure I can make it hit that point, regardless. I also have a major time crunch that I didn't have during the Mindbender era (swimming) and very little time in the evenings to sit down with a keyboard. Most of the thing that's basically finished was written on the fly, longhand, between appointments, in waiting rooms and wherever else I happened to be when I had a few minutes. Which is one way to go about it, I guess. Transcribing it was a lot of fun, though. You should see my handwriting. No, you probably shouldn't. You've seen what happens when you whack a bug and splatter its guts all over the wall, haven't you?
(By the way, whacking a bug is a big Buddhist no-no. It's better to usher them outside. I usually scream for Joan, which is sort of outsourcing my violations of the First Precept. You know, like the United States exports its industrial pollution by manufacturing goods in countries that don't have the strict environmental laws we have here.)
So I'm here, and I'm gonna try to write something, but in the meantime, I just made a modest proposal that might lead to yet another project. I hope so. I'm probably going to shut off my Internet connection now just to avoid having to read whatever comes back, but let it be known that I proposed it. Whatever it is.
And I hope I get to tell you whatever it is very soon.