I’ve got a fire under my ass. A fire that says I must finish two chapters by the end of the first week of September or else I should not go on the market. (No, this is not a good year to be on the market, but I’m supposed to be trying to be done, right?) So I’ve been working steadily. Steadily, but not quickly. I may write for several hours each day, getting in a page here or a paragraph there. Colegas who have finished tell me this is a good pace, but it doesn’t seem fast enough.
Unfortunately, my most “productive” writing periods happen when I have a deadline that requires me to write intensely for 2-3 days — and do little else but watch t.v., eat and sleep. In these 2-3 days I may be able to write about 10 pages of solid—even good—work. But in these 2-3 days I get a little squirrelly, from lack of face-to-face human contact. And afterward my brain is so fried that I have to let it rest for a few days. And then I go back to the slow-and-steady thing, which isn’t enough. It’s a vicious cycle, really. No bueno.
In an effort to get one of those chapters out of the way this weekend, an amiga and I decided to work together this afternoon. An intense 5-hour writing session in my lovely new air-conditioned apartment with the wonderful windows, and my favorite piñon coffee. At dinnertime we decided to have a beer and share a burger—a small reward for our hard work. Well, we shared the burger, but we each had our own beers. C’mon, now!
And I have to say that the highlight of the day were the fried pickles that I insisted we order to go with our meal. I have not had fried pickles since I lived in small-midwestern-college-town. Nearby there was another small-midwestern-college-town that had a charming little bar/restaurant on the edge of the railroad tracks (literally just a couple feet from trains zooming past) that served fried pickles. There they used the wedge pickles, which were very tasty, but perhaps more juicy than I liked (because of the juiciness, they get really hot, but if you wait for them to cool, then the friedness isn’t as good). But today, at this new place that opened just blocks away from my place, they used pickle SLICES. The perfect combination of salty and juicy and greasy goodness. Almost better than fried potatoes…and you know I love me some fried potatoes!
Ah if only I could be this excited about my chapters…
p.s. I actually have about 20 pages of each chapter drafted, so it’s possible to finish both in time, but probably not without a lot of pain. And now back to work!