Back up for a Second . . .

I’ve kept to my self-inflicted curfew for a week now, and barring that first night, when I missed it by fifteen minutes, I’ve either gone to bed at 10:30 or even before.

The effects of an extra measly half-hour or hour of sleep are interesting.  Showering with my eyes open is a novel experience—I haven’t mistaken anything for the shampoo since last Wednesday.  It’s also easier to put in my contacts for some reason.

Despite my worries that I would be decreasing my already questionable productive writing time, I’ve managed to do some solid work on what appears to have been chosen by my subconscious as my Next Non-Pigeon Drop Project, though it’s early days, yet, so who knows.  I have a sheaf of possibilities—not to mention the Nano novelettes—and it’s proving slightly difficult to step off  the paths that have been worn into my imagination.

And to be honest, I’m a little leery of dropping (pun not intended) the Pigeon mindset—I’m not sure I should let it entirely go until it find a home and edits are finally final.  But I am starting to pry my mental fingers from it, very gently, one by one.

And I’ve stopped carrying around the Big Pink flash drive which has been my constant companion for over a year and contains all my Pigeon drafts, notes, character charts, outlines, synopses, queries, etc., plus a few other things as well.

It’s an odd feeling—weirder than waking up before breakfast.

It feels a bit like forgetting to put my wedding ring on after I make biscuits–though instead of looking at my bare finger and gasping in shock, I slap my front right pocket and my heart hits my large colon with a panicked bang.

I made regular file back-ups—I learned that lesson the hard way, with a couple of heartbreaking refreshers—but there was an emotional investment in having my book with me wherever I went, even if I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near a computer.  A constant reminder and focus.

But it’s time to step back a bit.  It’s not just that I need time and separation from Pigeon right now so I can send it out into the world without hyperventilating,* it’s that my laptop is having trouble reading Big Pink and I’ve decided it needs a rest from riding around all day in a warm pocket and being dragged out and jammed into strange USB ports and I just realized that I sound like a cyberpimp for a CGIgolo or something, which is certainly not my intention.

Pink ThingIt is also not my intention to lose anything on that flash drive, so after a particularly frustrating five minutes the other night,** I gave Big Pink its own folder on my desktop and whisked it away to the Small Drawer of Retired Flash Drives, where it will share war stories with the former agent known only as “F:”,*** which also has a memorial desktop folder.

My organizational system defies logic, which I like to see as just another layer of security.

Regardless, I appear to be moving on—and on a bit more sleep than usual.  We’ll see how it goes.

Think it’s too soon to adopt another flash drive?

How do you move on from major projects?


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*Which doesn’t bode well for the first couple weeks of Jane and Sunny’s college careers.

**During which I may or may not have screamed at my laptop, “What do you mean you can’t detect it?  It’s right here and bright stinkin’ pink!!” and Sunny may or may not have pointed helpfully to my laptop lid and said, “Hold it up to the camera eye, Mommy, right there.”

***So named after its original designation on my first laptop.  I am a simple people.


14 thoughts on “Back up for a Second . . .

  1. Moving on from major projects. Hmm. I was so attached to my 1999 behemoth of a novel that I spent 10 years attempting to rewrite it as 1) a whole new book, and 2) a tighter version of itself. One still frame image of the first attempt became January Black. 🙂

  2. I haven’t moved on and the longer I am away, the more I think I might/should? move forward in a different direction with a different piece. I only wish I knew if it is the exhaustion of working the same story for so many years or if it is truly a stinker I wrote to learn how to write.
    As if I know. Alas.
    Good for you on 10:30. I looked at the clock last night at midnight and thought I can’t go on like this. And now I look at the clock and it’s already 11:30. Such a nasty habit, this going without sleep. May you be my good influence…

    • Maybe,if another writing project catches your eye, you might alternate writing sessions? That way you can take a little break without breaking ties—and maybe fill the well?

      Yeah, I don’t know, either . . .

  3. I think I might be experiencing something similar, though it has its own symptoms that are terribly unique. But I’m glad you’ve been able to start the slow & arduous journey toward letting the eff go. 🙂 Even once you do, it boomerangs back. So, don’t worry–that folder on your desktop will come in handy many more times. But at least Big Pink gets a rest, some cool down time. And so do you. Once you two have been given space, you’ll be able to return without being glued together. I think. Anyway, congrats on continuing your curfew. If someone needs sleep, it’s full time writingworkingmommywife extraordinaire (and not necessarily in that order). <3.

    • You have so many excellent projects, Lisa—doe that make it easier or harder to move on?

      I’ll tell you, I’m not used to being awake, present, and aware between 2-3pm . . . I wonder what I’ve been doing all those afternoons?

      • I would say sometimes it’s easier, because I’m suddenly passionate about one of the other many loose ends. But sometimes, it’s hard, because I feel like I did better with an earlier project and I feel comfortable and happy working with it. Versus what I feel now which is uncomfortable and perpetually anxious. Hey, I think you just helped me narrow down the problem. 🙂 As far as what you did those afternoons–oh, this and that. Drifting in the fog that is auto-drive. Haha.

    • I have occasionally forgotten that I’d put in my contacts. On those mornings I’ve stepped out of the shower, put on my glasses, and panicked because I think I’ve gone blind.

      That’s a wake-up call!

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