Posting has been limited on the site this week for a very good reason. I’m not writing. It’s not because I have nothing to write or don’t want to write. It’s because I finished my latest project on Monday and am now editing the writing. I’m almost at the half-way point and I have the whole weekend ahead of me so if I’m not done by Sunday night, I’ve got some problems. And beginning Monday, I want to get back to writing. Plus, I need to make sure that I’m done editing so that I can figure out what I’m going to start working on for National Novel Writing Month, which begins next Saturday. Another glorious month of deadline-driven novel writing. It’s like Christmas came early. I guess, in a way, Christmas did come early this year. Last week, while I was teaching, my husband ran out to Barnes and Noble to pick up my copy of 300,000,000 by Blake Butler. It was the book’s release day and I had reserved a copy in the morning so that little beauty was waiting for me when I got home. Then I went back to Barnes and Noble the other day and got a copy of Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. I was also looking for a few more books but got discouraged when the computer system lied about the availability of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (they did have a copy of The Rum Diary) and went home with the one novel and then two books about theoretical Physics and Universal Hypotheses. I have varied tastes, people.
Tuesday of this week, I traveled deep into Northwest Jersey to attend a brief funeral service for my family’s dog. We had our little dachshund friend for over 16 years but he got very sick and was put down so that he wouldn’t suffer anymore. So Tuesday was just a weird day. It was rainy and miserably, the area we were in was hideously rural (this is coming from someone who has been able to look outside at any given time for the majority of her life and see some glimpse of the New York City skyline), and the funeral was just weird. We saw part of the cremation process and when the cremation technician opened the crematory oven, it roared like a furnace. That sound is stuck in my head now. We had to wait a few hours to pick up the ashes so we found this historical village to wander through. It was what I imagine the Village of the Damned looking like. There was barely anyone around and out of all the stores advertised, only two or three were open. There was a church in the center of the shopping area that was peeling with disrepair and when my family and I went to the only little restaurant on the property, we were immediately greeted by a giant spider hanging beside the door. I ate the most atrocious meal of my life: mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers and fried potato skins. I chose to eat all that fried muck because I figured that because the place’s fresh vegetables probably couldn’t be trusted and at least frying the hell out of everything would reduce any chances of food poisoning. At one point, my sister asked what I would do if we encountered a little ghost child “like in one of the Nancy Drew books you used to read” (my sister knows me too well). It seemed very likely that the area was haunted. It was all so run-down and old. In the middle of the shopping center was a pond/fountain. The water was covered with pond scum so thick, it seemed like grass. My sister and I spent a good amount of time heaving rocks into the pond to watch the pond scum separate, then come back together. I’ve included a picture below. You will see a surface of greenery. Do not be fooled. That greenery is not solid. It is water. If you were to step on it, you would fall in and get pond scum all over you (and possibly drown—don’t drown, people).
And that friends, leads me to today, where I am trying to get through editing as quickly (and carefully) as possible because I’ve been accumulating thoughts and observations over the course of the last few days and I’m dying to get them down on the page. But because I don’t want to get distracted from editing, I need to finish this task first, then jump into the next project. I’m torn between a few projects to start on Monday. I might decide to work on two simultaneously just because what I want to write doesn’t fit in with the other project but I think that that’s the novel I want to work on during November. But I promise that Monday will have new writing. I swear it. Mostly because I can’t bear to not be writing. I keep scrawling lines down in my notebook just so that I don’t forget anything. But the edits come first so that I can look at this novel and finally think, DONE.