Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Rituals

"The rituals of getting ready to write produce a kind of trance." --John Barth

I will heretofore (and you thought I didn't go to law school) shift blame for my staggering unproductivity (while waiting on my revision letter) to the trance.

But in any case, I am apparently getting ready to write. I spent most of the morning cleaning out my office. I always feel smarter when my office is clean, even though I only exhibit said smarts when picking my way through its messiness.

Actually, in fairness, I usually do original writing downstairs in the sunroom on my laptop in the middle of the night. It's a ghostly place. I drink iced tea, curl up with one-to-four cats, and keep the lights off. Sometimes I'll turn on music on TV, something to suit the mood of the piece. (My breakup with television did not extend to the all-music channels). Midnight to four a.m. for first drafts. Always.

That said, the upstairs daylight office is for revision and administrative whatever, so it's still important. One major step was to clear out a series of research books for a novel that, after too much reflection, I'm deciding not to write. It's been a backburner project for years, a frequent reader (I would say "fan," but let's be real) request. The whole process has been fairly empowering. Moving on already...

My office itself is cozy (read: too small). It was originally the maid's room in the house (we don't have a maid, unfortunately). Deep closet and a wash closet that serves the glamorous job of cat bathroom. Ceiling fan. One window overlooking the backyard and another overlooking the sideyard. The walls are green and adorned with wolves.

It's also been a year since I gave up potatoes and changed my life for the better. Not that the potatoes were key, but they were simultaneous. Or rather, they were not simultaneous. I'm sure I'll now get mail from the Potato Growers of America.

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