Up to Chapter Sixteen, "Aftermaths." Which means fifteen out of twenty chapters are done -- I'm 75 percent there. I wish I were at a colony right now -- an arts colony, not an ant colony -- lots of my writer friends did the colony thing this summer, and came back with fat manuscripts under their arms and lots of juicy writer gossip -- "So-and-so only sold, like, 1500 copies." "Really? But his book was everywhere!" Because nobody cares who's fucking who, we only care who's outselling who.
I feel like I could write the rest of this thing in a week, if I were somewhere far away from people. Like maybe the moon.
But I've got another week in Fire Island coming up, first week of September -- I'm going broke, spending all my money on the beach, but it's worth it. It should be my sprint to the finish, that week. If I can get Sixteen and part of Seventeen done this week, next week I'll do Seventeen and Eighteen, and I'll get Nineteen and Twenty done on Fire Island. And you will hear the whoop of joy from wherever you are, that's how happy I will be. For about ten days, while I let the thing marinate in my head. And then I will have to go back and tackle the second draft.
Here's the chapters I have left:
Seventeen, "Happiest Place on Earth"
Eighteen, "Famous Literary Frauds"
Nineteen, "Family Day"
Twenty, "Since U Been Gone"
It helps to have such an awesome writer's group (and awesome founding emeritus member Emilie Blythe), rooting for me and throwing cups of water at me and generally being the Gatorade beneath my wings; not only do they give me support and encouragement, they give me tremendous feedback, and their projects inspire me -- thinking about their work helps me to understand the mechanics of my own work.
"My ewn wuuuuuuhk." You have to say that phrase in a really pretentious voice. Look, I know it's pretentious; Bill and I were watching a behind-the-scenes featurette on a DVD of Season Four of The Shield, and the actors were all talking about their process and the method and all that shit, and it was a little much, hearing Rogue Cop #2 talking about trust and integrity in collaborative performance. "But...but you did you feel when you shoved the perp up against the wall and put your forearm across his neck? What were you communicating?"
You just do it, right? Get zen. Show up at your lotus, cross your legs, open your palms and your heart, and you fucking sit there until you feel something. All the math and the science behind it, that's just best-laid plans. And you know best-laid plans always screw you.
So enough running this morning -- running on the treadmill, running my mouth, running through it in my head. Time to go sit.