Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wilting

I've had three slow days in a row with my NaNo novel. I'm behind the pace by 3377 words, assuming the need to average 1666.6666 words per day. I'm a tad discouraged but not panicked yet since I've frequently surged ahead by over 3500 words in a single day on a story. But that kind of thing isn't the norm and I can't count on it. When it does happen, it usually follows a day or two of backing off to dream the scene(s), watching my characters move in their environment and interact with it and with each other. I can't afford very many such breaks in grinding out the words though. Especially with there being no guarantee that the surge of words will follow the fallow day.

It doesn't help that I'm fighting another headache either. This isn't quite of the migraine category yet but still... It might be eye-strain. I've taken the step of increasing the font size to 20pt to see if that might help. Of course, I won't be able to judge that until after I've rested my eyes and started fresh.

If some of these headaches of late are eye-strain related, I may be getting relief soon. I've finally got an appointment with an eye doctor. A week from Friday though, so it's not going to help me get through NaNo. Even the best scenario means that I'd be breaking in a new prescription during the last ten to fifteen days. There is always eyestrain involved in that too. And to make matters iffier I have to go with bifocals as our insurance only allows for one pair in two years so I can't have separate reading glasses.

I did not have a happy experience with bi-focals last time I tried them. They were fine for reading or for sewing while watching TV or for not having to choose between seeing your dinner plate or the face of your conversationalist across the table. But for walking about--not so fine. My tunnel vision seems to be encroaching faster from below than from the sides so I have to look down to see anything below the level of my nose. Looking down with bifocals while stepping off a curb was nearly as disorienting as stepping off a carnival ride. I use that analogy because I had bifocals when we moved to Sunnyvale, CA in 1999 and the following spring we bought season tickets to PGA (Paramount Great America) amusement park. It was a natural comparison.

One of my frustrations today is that my word count remains so low in spite of the fact that I have spent the majority of my waking hours focused on Spring Fever. Once again I've put every other thing in my life to the side to become submerged in the story world. I don't know whether to just accept this as the way I work most productively or to think of it as something that needs to change. I know such a working style would not be compatible if I had other pressing responsibilities: a day job, kids, a household of my own to run. But since I don't have any of those, maybe I should just go with it. On the other hand, I am starting to miss certain things. Like reading novels, watching movies, clean hair, and sleep.

And getting out of this room! It's been a week since I've been any further than the dinner table or the bathroom. I was considering passing on the weekly trip to the library this week because I've barely touched most of the books I brought home last week. One of them has become essential reference for my story world but the rest are just sitting there taunting me. I still haven't finished The Historian, the novel we own so bringing home more novels makes little sense. But Ed is down to three out of the seven I brought home for him and thus might not make it to next Monday without more. So now I'm thinking that I should try to go tomorrow, the last day the Phoenix branch is open this week. And if I wake up headache free I think I will wash my hair and head for the library.

2 tell me a story:

julia 11/07/2007 1:02 PM  

'On the other hand, I am starting to miss certain things. Like reading novels, watching movies, clean hair, and sleep.'

LOL! Ah, the glamour of writing. Go, Joy, go!

Bonnie Jacobs 11/07/2007 2:28 PM  

Try this, Joy:
1) read a novel,
2) watch a movie,
3) wash your hair,
4) sleep, and
5) visit the library every chance you get, but don't bring home more than Ed's plus one or two (or three) for yourself.

Then you'll feel like you have a life, and the novel writing will come easier. Maybe. At least I like to think so. Maybe it will at least give you a chance to overcome the headache.

I got a call from a friend and she needs help tomorrow so, even though I'm behind on my word count, I'm going to help her. While I'm away from the house, I should be able to think about my novel ... or possibly even write a little (there will be computer access). I am hoping it means I will even have something to use in my story because I'll be at the university! Wah-hoo!

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