April 24th, 2012


Short Attention Span Day

The next book I read is going to have to be a relatively short mass-market paperback because I think I strained my wrist holding George RR Martin hardcovers. I may have to read the rest of this series with the book propped on a pillow on my lap. But I do have a mass market paperback in mind, as the latest KE Mills Rogue Agent book supposedly comes out today, and I'm meeting some friends for lunch near a bookstore.

I finished reading through that old book of mine that suddenly popped back into my consciousness last week, and I'd say that the first quarter is mostly good, though with some rough patches. Most of the second quarter is episodic and meandering, with a few bright spots. The midpoint, much of the third quarter, was strong -- even had me holding my breath and getting tears in my eyes, and I wrote it. And then in the last quarter, aliens took over my brain and I don't know what the hell was going on. Or else the elves got into my computer overnight and rewrote the ending because I didn't remember writing that and it's not even something I would think I would write. I wonder what I was going through at the time. When I write something that out-of-character for me, it tends to mean I'm working out some real-life issue. Okay, so I vaguely remember writing some of it, but I could swear it had a different ending. That must have been an earlier draft, and I hope I still have it. You know, when I was working on that part, it must have been around the time I bought those tank tops and strappy sandals, so perhaps it was that early 30s life crisis coming through. I didn't feel like I was in any kind of life crisis at the time, but in retrospect, I went through a brief phase of acting -- or maybe more like thinking, since I don't think I actually did anything different other than wearing different clothes -- somewhat out of character. I sort of went through my early 20s during my early 30s.

At any rate, I think the characters, the world and the basic story are worth salvaging, and while I can save some individual scenes, for the most part I need to re-plot and rewrite. I definitely need a new ending. I've written goodness knows how many books since I last touched that book, so I would hope I've learned something. I don't know where this will fall on the project priority list, but it's a fun mental exercise. I may play with it for a while and then consign it to the subconscious and see what it can do with it until I'm ready to focus on it.

I'm being rather flighty lately, and not so much in the easily distracted "Squirrel!" way, but rather more like a very, very short attention span. About half an hour of any one thing and I'm losing interest. Then I have to find something else to do. So yesterday went kind of like do a little business stuff, get bored, go read a chapter, get bored, then read a while on that old book, get bored, check e-mail to see if there's been a response on business stuff, get bored, read another chapter, etc. Any task that would take longer than about twenty minutes didn't get started because I knew I'd probably lose interest midway through. I could have gone to a baseball game with my brother last night, but I knew I'd be bored about five minutes after the National Anthem, and I didn't want to inflict that on him, since he actually cares about baseball. I'm not sure if he thought I was joking when I reminded him that I'd have to bring a book (an old incident that I still haven't lived down and that has become a family joke). Since I'm reading A Storm of Swords, security might have considered it a weapon (for the size -- you could seriously damage someone with that book).