Dec. 19th, 2006

Ow ow ow. That pinched nerve thing behind my shoulder blade is bothering the CRAP out of me this morning. Yesterday and the day before I took illicit Canadian codiene-aspirin pills for it but I've decided that it's such an intermittent pain anyway that I have no way of knowing whether the codeine helped, and I don't want to keep taking it. (#1: Habit-forming. #2: I'm almost out and don't fancy a holiday season border crossing.) So I've just taken a fistful of ibuprofin instead and honestly that hasn't done a thing either. I can go hours without it bothering me, but then it just hurts and hurts and hurts, and I know I'm getting tedious but I want it to stop, preferably before it makes me dizzy. I've been far too unsteady of late and I don't like it. I just want to be *OK* for a while. Bleah.

A huge stack of Xmas cards have gone out the door with Z, to be metered at work. (He's going to reimburse them: he's not stealing postage.) He's also depositing all his paychecks into our bill-paying account. I feel quite smug at having handed off all of the errands, but not really: I have so much other shit to do, and no car, and at the moment I am just in so much pain I don't want to even try to move. I don't know when I'll get all these things done. I just don't. Someday. Argh. I'm getting tedious again but it hurts.

When I was at home with my folks somebody adjusted the thermostat to his liking. Which was a good thing to do; I hate it when he leaves it at whatever ridiculous setting I put it at while we were out of the house and then looks all sad and pathetic bundled up like a caterpillar. When I got back from home I was so happy to be warm for once that I just left it (and also, the fact that it was 60 outdoors made it sort of irrelevant), but at the moment I'm sitting here basically naked and feeling too warm, and I think that's kind of the point when one has to put one's foot down and go turn the thermostat down again.

I have my take-the-bus-and-sit-two-hours schedule today, so I'm trying to get myself into some semblance of order to go out the door with enough to occupy me while I wait for work to start, and I just can't really think about anything but my shoulder blade. I should be finishing up chores at home as well and I just really can't think. Tedious, tedious, tedious. Maybe I should just start drinking.
On the train Friday, and again today, I sat and went through the chapter listing/summary of barbarians_novel, and redid it.
I started off with 46 chapters.
Now I have 23.
All the same plot points are in it.
The plot points now make sense, with the background motivations filled in.
The ending is actually good.

So basically, I now have an outline, distilled from the outline reverse-engineered out of what I actually wrote. This is the most coherent I've ever had a novel.

If I can persist and winnow the chapters the way I winnowed the summaries,
if I have actually managed to thin the prose the way I thinned the chapters into just the ones that were plot

if I can make the wordcount precisely half what it was at the end of the last draft

Then I will have finished a novel that is publishable in its actual state.

Which will be a first.

I'm finding much more hope in the current situation than I had before.

I feel pretty good.


In the 200-block of my street we passed a house tonight that has the same seven-foot light-up palm tree out as a Christmas decoration.
They also have a light-up plaque-thing of a surfer guy. And that's it.

The rest of their block is OTT icicle-lights-and-inflatables.

We're almost the only people on our block with lights up at all. Our street gets more intense the farther it gets into Tonawanda (we're right on the border; we're the first block past the street that marks the city boundary), and yes, we are not the only ones with a light-up seven-foot palm tree out front.

I don't know whether I'm psyched or destroyed. Man, I thought I was so original.



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