Okay. Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday, and thus to another blog post. It’s Thursday the 14th, which feels like it ought to be some inverted, retroactive, complex-time-based lucky or unlucky day, but as far as I know, no one takes it as such. Of course, there’s no reason to think that the arbitrary dating system we humans use should have any effect on any given day’s intrinsic “luck”, but it can be fun to think about and play with such notions. Now, at an individual level, there are indeed lucky and unlucky days, but these designations are applied after the fact, since luck is just a description of specific outcomes of events governed by probability and statistics.
I’m going to try to keep this relatively brief, today, which is unlikely to break anyone’s heart. There’s not much going on in my personal life (though the world, as always, continues to produce new and exciting brands of chaos). I haven’t even done an Iterations of Zero post this week, though there are plenty of older posts to read if you’re so inclined. I continue to struggle to work regular IoZ entries into my schedule, even though my lack of “a life” would seem to imply that there would be ample space (or, rather, time) to do so. There are, however, simply too many empty distractions, and the ever-present problem of “will” or “drive” to accomplish things. Contrary to what may be popular belief, willpower is very much a neurological function (interacting with other bodily states), and it is subject both to exercise and to fatigue. It is certainly not constant, any more than physical vigor is.
That being said, my will to work on The Vagabond has seen no significant faltering. The editing process goes well; the book is subtly improving with each run-through, which is gratifying, at least for me. It continues to be a good horror story, in my biased estimation, and I’m pleased with my past self for having written it. I can’t go back and give him a pat on the back directly, but I can at least thank his memory, though most other things associated with that memory trigger sadness and regret. I suppose that’s the nature of recollections of things past, whether they are triggered by the smell of madeleines or by editing a horror novel*.
As I’ve said before on more than one occasion, my mental health doesn’t tend to be very good, specifically with respect to dysthymia and depression, when I’m not writing new fiction, but I also know that I am too prone to diversion if I interrupt one writing project—such as editing The Vagabond—with another. That was one factor that led the original writing of The Vagabond to take so long, and also ensured that I rarely completed any long projects prior to the period when I was an invited guest of the Florida DOC. If I allow myself to be distracted by a new creative writing idea, I will continue to be distracted, and enterprises of great pith and moment will with this respect their courses run awry and lose the name of action.
Not that I never completed anything in the past; quite the contrary. I wrote a longish fantasy/sci-fi novel** in high school called Ends of the Maelstrom, the cosmology of which lurks still in the background of many of my other universes, though that original novel is long since lost in time like Roy Baty’s tears in the rain. One day, perhaps (it’s a very big perhaps) I might rewrite it. But I’m not getting my hopes up.
I also wrote at least one complete screenplay in high school (a lot of it done in idle time at my after-school job at GM, where I usually finished my official work rather quickly). It was a deliberately cheap horror movie, which I intended to produce, with my friends playing the parts. Some of them were good actors. Unfortunately, the technology available to me then made it unworkable, though if I had modern video technology, I probably could have pulled it off. It’s just as well that I didn’t, I suspect, since even one of my best friends, who was to play a major part in the movie, said that the story was unworthy of the title (Night Vision).
Well, I said I’d keep things short this week, so that’s enough recherche du temps perdu for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to work in an IoZ entry this week, on some random, walk-in science or other. In the meantime, I’ll wish you all the best I can realistically wish you. Try not to let the chaos get you down, and especially, try not to let the absurd, tragi-comic antics of many of your fellow humans make you demonize and revile them or consider them inherently your enemies or beyond redemption.
That’s my job.
*I’ve never read any Proust. Most of what I know of his work is from other people’s descriptions, first and foremost from the Monty Python “All-England Summarize Proust Competition”.
**It was all hand-written on very narrow-ruled notebook paper, with many digressions into the margins throughout, and was over five hundred pages long. It would have been much longer than The Vagabond, and if I were to rewrite it now, I’m sure that I would make it longer still, because there were interesting ideas that could have been explored further than I did at the time.