Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hot under the collar: Fortnight #7 of the Burns

Macandrew Bay
Fortnightly word tally: 8,279
(1st week: 3,018; 2nd week: 5,261)
(Novel 4,097; poetry 1,356; blog 2,215; essays 611)

You may be able to guess from the fact it’s Thursday of the week following the end of my seventh fortnight that things are a bit of a jumble at the moment.

Right now, the Dunedin Writer’s Festival is on. I have a session tomorrow about the end of the world and one Saturday about Found Poetry – both topics are just far enough outside my wheelhouse that I’ve needed to put some work in to feel ‘ready’. I’m also trying to get along to as many other sessions as I can.

Then there’s getting ready for Italy. I fly out on the 20th and have had to prepare two presentations that I’ll be delivering to earn my keep, in addition to playing travel agent for myself for the 7 days I have after my conference to location scout for my location scouting novel.

It’s fair to say I feel bad about progress on THE LOCATION SCOUT. Even if I didn’t have the Italian curveball (which I still feel, on balance, is an awesome curveball to have been thrown) I would still be a bit mired right now. I keep coming up with structural innovations that don’t seem to work / aren't necessary / are insane when I attempt to make them in the manuscript. Fool!

But these fallow(ish) patches are all part of it. 

There’s a cult in my book (or there will be) that I didn’t know would be there two months ago. I’m probably another two months of writing (and gallivanting) before they appear on the page, but it’s the time I spend now -- reading apparently unrelated Guardian articles or watching Fargo or peeling mandarins and having fragmentary thoughts about the downside of a surfeit of freedom and what charisma is in a post-John Key world -- that will equip me to write this cult to life in July (or whenever – this isn’t one of those contracts with the universe, alright?).

Barefeet in May? My son might be a Southern Man, yet.

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