Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Erratic Meanderings and Moody Operandi

Have been sleeping quite erratically lately and thus loosing my opportunities to get online. In fact have been doing almost everything erratically. My attention span is a lot like my cats’, alternating between snoozing, staring at the TV (on or off) or the wall or being hypnotized by the screensaver soon followed by the blinking blue standby light on the front of my laptop, eating, grooming… of course there are things I do that my cats can’t like read, write, watch DVDs, play computer games, laundry, walk to the library…

And it isn’t that I haven’t been writing. It’s just that most of what I have been writing isn’t fit for anyone’s eyes but mine--if even that. I would no more post it than I would try to pass off my own vomit as soup to unsuspecting guests. Why would I want to inflict the dyspepsia of the nauseous contents of my mind on anyone else? It’s bad enough to watch it splash onto the screen each day as I regurgitate the minutia of my thoughts and doings into my daily journal.

Some of my recent writing is not so noxious but it is still not yet fit for public consumption. Like my continued work on Brooding Instinct, the novel I worked on for NaNoWriMo. Though it is now on simmer, instead of full boil as during the month of November, it is still cooking. And on some days it is the most appetizing thing going in my life.

Then there is the work on a couple dozen book reviews that are in various stages of production. When life-altering events overtook me last July, a lot of my projects got set aside and I am trying to reconnect with them. But it is nigh to impossible to write book reviews for books one read months previously without having access to the book! I guess I need to send for them again but that means giving time, energy, space and attention to books I finished months ago when there are sooo many more waiting their turn to be finished or started.

And I have continued to finish books at the rate of three to five per week since I got back from Longview and start them even faster than that. Last week, I finally finished Faulkner’s Light in August. It was the fourth copy of the book I had in my possession. The first copy came bundled in the same tome as his novel, As I Lay Dying, which I ordered from the library in June and read in July after finishing, The Sound and the Fury. But no sooner had I started it, the book came due and with it being one of the summer Oprah Book Club selections, it was on hold so I had to get back on the waiting list for one of the other half dozen or so copies in the system. I was amazed when one came thru for me in late August but I was far from done when it was coming due the third week of September. I was all set to set aside everything else that week to finish it when word came that my Dad’s liver was failing and I had to leave for Longview, Washington. Then after my Dad’s funeral, my sister checked a copy out for me from the Longview library but the novelty of my new laptop and the availability of the internet for ten to twelve hours per day commandeered my reading time (not to mention my sleeping time) so I had just passed the halfway point in mid November when I learned that my ride back to Phoenix would be leaving in six days. There was little time for reading that last week. I picked up the fourth copy of the novel on the shelf of the Phoenix branch of our Southern Oregon Library System on November 20th. But I did not make good progress with it until about a week after returning from Gerber, California where I attended my Aunt’s funeral on December 3rd. Since finishing it, I started reading a collection of critical essays about it and have discovered that I have forgotten more than I remembered about the plot and missed much of the significance of many of the elements of the story. A novel was never meant to be read in bits and snatches over half a year’s time! Novels are meant to be dove into and immersed in until the last word. I believe I need to start it over if I am to do Faulkner’s intent justice. As I relate this, I have flashes of having written versions of part or all of this before. Don’t know if it was for a blog post or my journal and if the former whether it was posted. I have begun many a post for Joystory that I never finish or for some reason choose not to post. If you have heard this all before I apologize for inflicting it on you again. But I guess it is as good as anything to serve as a review of the ‘life altering events’ I referred to above.

When I started that last paragraph I was intending to list a half dozen or so of the books that I started and/or finished in the last month or so. But I guess I will save that for another post now.

Can you tell I’m not in the Holiday Spirit? But that too is another post.

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