Friday Fraternization

  1. My wife was on her coffee clatch Zoom call in the other room. That’s what they call it; I adhere to their will. I could close the door, but I eavesdrop. They mostly talk about books and politics. Those are subjects that I enjoy. So I’m writing, but I’m distracted. Eventually, I put in my ear buds and listen to coffee shop noises.
  2. Bob Hoesch recommended that I try the coffee shop noises recorded on youtube. It’s an uneven experience. While the recording fulfills the coffee shop sounds, I’m lacking visual stimulation, and the smells. My mind likes all of these when I write. They’re not distractions but aids, as long as I’m not personally involved. Odd how the mind works, innit?
  3. My wife raved about the books The Stanger Diaries, Don’t Leave Me, and Squeezed on the call.
  4. The Baltimore Ravens were due to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving. That game was delayed until Sunday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among the Ravens. They traced the source to a trainer. He’d tested positive but didn’t tell the organization, and didn’t always mask as required. Lackadaisical practices within the organization caused problems with contact tracing as players and staff didn’t wear the tracking devices as required. The episode demonstrates the fragility of the safeguards, and how utterly dependent they are on everyone following the protocols, and the impact when they’re not followed. The Ravens’ season isn’t going as well as they’d hoped (and many expected), and these additional challenges just add to their mounting issues. It all does have a sort of ‘my kingdom for a nail’ ring to it.
  5. This just in: The Ravens-Steelers game has been moved to Tuesday.
  6. We were on a Friendsgiving Zoom with the people we usually do T-day with last night, a two-hour cocktail visit. They’re all intelligent and fun people, and the visit was a welcome interlude from the normal processes and routines.
  7. Tucker enjoys the Zoom calls. Exercise, coffee, whatever, he’s right there, a black and white long-haired feline who pays no attention to the people on the call admiring him. He seems to like the voices.
  8. Opposite of Tucker is Boo, the bedroom pantera, who hides from the voices. He wants no part of all those voices. As it was in the upper twenties and the sun was hiding, I didn’t want him out. I put him in the master suite with all the usual accoutrements. He hid in the corner of the closet, as expected, and stayed there until silence reigned.
  9. Papi (aka Meep, Youngblood, and the Ginger Blade) is the oddest of our cats when it comes to Zoom. He doesn’t like Mary B’s voice. It’s like he owes her money. “Oh, no, there’s Mary! I’m out of here.” As soon as Mary is off the call, he settles down in a comfy place and goes to sleep, even if others are talking.
  10. I’m struggling to keep up with my reading. See, priority-wise, outside of biological needs and relationship obligations with my wife, and cat stuff, writing is my highest priority. It’s a reward for putting in twenty years in the military and then almost another twenty in civilian employment, delaying my writing dream. I figure I owe myself. Outside of writing and the other matters, exercise is a high priority. I like getting twelve miles a day via walking/running.
  11. That keeps me from reading as much as I can. I attempt to read while running in place. That does work but proficiency in both decline and its dissatisfying. Don’t know what I’m going to do to resolve this. I like my reading.
  12. Now, lunch is done. That is, I’ve made it and eaten it. Time to get some coffee and return to writing like crazy, at least one more time. To quote an NFL player, “Stay positive, test negative.” Yeah, and wear masks, okay?

Proceeding

I thought I was further along in the novel-in-progress — well, in the story — than I am. I was at a juncture, though, where I was undecided what to do. Normally, I overanalyze a while, take a walk, make some coffee, and then write. I did kind-of the same this time, writing it in my head until I reached a point where I said, “Nope, that’s not how it goes.” Eventually, I found how it goes, and punched on.

While I was doing this, I remembered Stranger Than Fiction, a 2006 movie which I enjoy. The movie, written by Zach Helm, starred Will Ferrell as an IRS employee who begins hearing voices in his head. It turns out that, possibly by quantum entanglement, he’s the main character in a novel that’s being written. The author, Karen Eiffel, is played by Emma Thompson.

I sometimes identify with Karen Eiffel. Scenes show her as the writer contemplating how to proceed. Proceeding in her instance means killing the main character. Her process involves a lot of pensively smoking and walking around while exuding a dark air and snapping at others. In my case, it involved a lot of pensively drinking coffee and walking around while exuding a dark air. So, you know, it’s a weak comparison, because I don’t smoke.

But after all, the movie was fiction.

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy at least one more time.

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