I’m still catching up with things from March. I have just one or two urgent things to go and they get harder and harder as time passes. It also gets harder to do the straightforward paperwork, because I’ve got this sense of never being quite caught up. There’s one particular article that’s causing me too many problems, but until it’s done, I can’t turn to the others (the stuff that was beginning to be due around August).
I’m doing some rethinking, along with the catching up. The seventeenth century novel has to wait. It’s high intensity in terms of work and I can’t do it yet. It’s that simple. If I wrote it now, I’d write it badly. Next year or the year after I’ll be able to write a good novel on that theme, for all the different parts of my brain will be able to work together. This means that my writing is turning to another contemporary novel. I had two begun (barely) and have decided to focus on the gendered one, for I really need to sort out those issues. Also, this is the perfect year for writing in the voice of an angry alien who is frustrated by the limitations of human bodies and human lives. (Most of the novel won’t be in that voice – just enough to annoy people.) I’m nearly 5,000 words in and will take a break at 15,000 for that will be most of that voice. This is the novel that was speaking to me the night before surgery. I was supposed to be launching my Wizardry novel (news of which is definitely forthcoming soon) and instead I was listening to an old woman dying and was being shaved in interesting places. I wasn’t allowed to wear off my nerves by walking, for I was hooked up to various things and besides, the hospital was worried about me and didn’t want me to go away even for a second, so I lay there, looking up at the television (this was the only ward I had a television), listening to my neighbour try valiantly to hang on, being interrupted by various preparations, realising that some of the weirdness was PMT and that the hallucinations were from medication and wondering just how strange life can become. At that moment this novel (which was had already taken some shape in the weeks before) announced a bunch of things to me. These are the things I’m dealing with now. The rest of the novel isn’t even a small part of the way there, because I was focussing on the other novel. Life does this.
I think this novel might contain a deal of bleakness. This is why I have to write it. being grateful to be alive and able to live life fully is one thing, but the path I took to get here is also a bit of who I am.
It’s not just my papers I’m catching up with.