But having sent Teh Novel out to the beta readers, I pretty much had to sit down and rest for a while. For one thing, I wanted to do my own light polish while I let a group of readers do the heavy lifting of figuring out whether the story really works as well as I think it does. (It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have that particular stress-boulder sitting on your back.) So I couldn’t run off and work on another project. But I was also physically exhausted. I’d had to stay up until 3 in the morning (my most productive writing time usually ends around midnight, or 2 a.m. at the latest, which tells you more than you need to know about my circadian rhythm) just to make the final changes and get the manuscript ready to print on Tuesday, October 15. I’d spent that whole Tuesday sleepwalking through my commitments, chugging cinnamon black tea and Coke Zero as I emailed PDFs and dropped off 300-page printouts in floppy binders. So Wednesday I was pretty much a lump—moving slowly, feeling sore, still not all the way recovered. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I’m old.
And Thursday was my day off work. So naturally I set off a bug bomb.
I knew I needed to hit my mental reset switch in order to make those polishes before the beta period was up, and I’ve been having trouble with moths lately, so I set off a noxious lavender-scented moth bomb in my closet and ran off to play hooky. My sensitive nose ensured that I wouldn’t be coming home anytime soon.
So what do writers do when they play hooky? Well, my first stop was the nearest kayak-rental place. And unlike my last kayak adventure, this time I had my camera along. So here’s what the world looks like from just above the waterline of a banged-up yellow kayak:
My next stop was a local independent bookstore, where I wanted to pick up a copy of Shadow of the Alchemist, the new Crispin Guest noir by Jeri Westerson. I was hoping to hit one of her signings over the coming weekend, but I wanted to start reading early. Hooray for the inimitable Book Carnival! (They have more signed copies if you want to buy them—hint, hint.)
But I also put new strings on my guitar over the weekend, so I wasn’t totally responsible.
|Paddleboarder with dog. Yes, dog is in midshake.|
|I swear I didn't run into all these landscapes I'm pointed at.|
|I imagine rogue paddleboarders graffiti-ing the retaining walls|
of these obscenely expensive bayside homes. Atlas!
|Why yes, that IS a freeway bridge off the port bow (between the palm trees).|