Boy is it hot. It is also, as I will reiterate toward the end, very humid. (I am writing yesterday, although I hear that even with a cold front moving through to create thunderstorms, today isnʼt going to feel much drier until evening, maybe.) Thus I have an excuse for a picture in what would be otherwise a pretty verbal post not lending itself well to illustration. I hope my Rightist fans (if any) in particular especially enjoy the humidity image my googling discovered (as usual, click the pic for the original source).
I am still being very busy dealing with lots of Census work as we try to conclude the operation by/on Friday. I spent forty-five minutes yesterday attempting to get a grasp on what we have completed already and what we still have to accomplish. (At least I had been working on that task since Monday and came up with a new, shorter version of the “still-must-finish” pages.) We are well over halfway through, which is excellent because we are well over halfway through (the first was number of questionnaires to complete, the second was allotted time). If I counted and added correctly, we have about 250 EQs to go, out of an original 800. Counting today, we have two days to get that work done (and I hope that while I was playing Questionnaire Accountant, the crew was out there in the world asking questions, so there are already a good portion of that 250 finished by this morning, and which I will diligently correct to send on to Cedar Rapids).
But work is boring, and I am ready to dismiss it from my reality (I hope immediately after meeting my boss on Saturday). Although the money has been nice, helping us afford to fix our driveway (about which the concrete guy, who said he would start in three weeks more than three weeks ago, has yet to get in touch), I am ready to go back to pretending I am trying to be a professional writer. I have lots of work to do (real work, not just inventing, writing, annotating and posting for the blog), including two old — already rejected once or twice — stories and three plays to send to publishers and three stories nearly finished to complete (“Mantorville” and “Mistakes by Moonlight” among that trio, the third being a San Francisco adventure for the Tourist). The old stories are “Underground” and “Details, Details.” For one of those, writing the blog was an excellent stimulus for me.
“Mantorville” occurs through creation at the keyboard for my writing process (as is my unpostably vulgar multiple-universe story and another tale that started as a time travel story but may have evolved into a planetary romance in the old Burroughsian vein — neither of which has seen much action from me in months). That last Quetzal County post I presented was a single draft more or less. Any good?
“Mistakes by Moonlight” is getting drafted in the big red notebook, as I have told you before, and still needs to get dictated to the computer (yes, no progress on doing real work yet this month). And the Tourist story, like its elder sibling “Underground,” is also working its way into existence longhand, also in the little red Harrods notebook, which is where some jerks and gasps of the Villon novel are also arriving on a page. I find that both typing and writing (literally on the latter) work pretty well for me. Doing the blog has shown me that maybe I write faster at the keyboard. But I feel more reflective and thoughtfully articulate with pen in hand, and a notebook can get used anywhere at all (even, I have found, in fairly dark surroundings). Maybe itʼs the notion of finishing the Sepharad story in one form fully that has kept me from using what little time I have had to put it into digital form.
I still havenʼt gotten comfortable just dictating to the machine without typing, mostly because the software just isnʼt all that accurate. I found another mistake in yesterdayʼs poem to fix when I checked the post about 4:30 PM, for example. The computer “heard” the word yet when I said it. RSS and e-mail readers of the blog have the aurally damaged version (unless RSS,which I donʼt use really, updates you every time I make a repair or edit once the post has gone up). However, I hope by fall to be attempting more successful dictation. My few experiments for the blog have gone together pretty quickly, if I donʼt bother proofreading as I go (but also requiring that I carefully review what the machine has heard afterward).
And as it is now about 5:30 yesterday afternoon (what an incredibly hot and humid day; I said before I for one did not miss at all the cool summer we enjoyed a year ago), with me drenched in and oozing sweat onto the keyboard and the arms of my desk chair (as I earlier soaked the paper of the EQs and my tabulations of who had gotten what work done when), and time to cease effort at the computer of any kind and make supper for The Lovely One as well as preparing her lunch for tomorrow at work, I wonʼt be getting creative again today…
This is not quite a thousand words (again), but I think we all feel that Iʼve droned on long enough.