Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

December Book

The December Book: Countdown, Day Two

November 5, 2013 by Richard Wright in December Book, Journal, Writing

Fleshmarket CloseUgh. A terrible night’s sleep does not bode well. I’d planned to be up earlier and squeeze in a run, but when I still wasn’t snoozing by 2am I readjusted my plans. Up at seven, feeling like a zombie, and did the usual pottering, checking of Facebook, and so on.

I thought I was ready to go at 08:30, then had to spend half an hour boiling kettles to refill the Anti-Dysentry-Water-Filter-Matic* device. Without the Anti-Dysentry-Water-Filter-Matic device there is no coffee. Without coffee, there is no joy.

I really want to go back to bed. Instead, I’m off to Edinburgh. Scriv tells me I need to write 5647 words today if I’m to stay on target and hit 90,000 words by the end of Sunday. The way I’m feeling, that seems like a big ask…

Going to post this now and update it through the day (interweb connection and sleep-deprived memory notwithstanding). If you’re really exceptionally bored, feel free to drop by and see how I’m getting on.

09:10 – 10:05. 663 words. Oh, it’s tough going this morning. Still, can’t complain too much. Words are happening, made easier by my already setting up this section. I started off with a reread and retouch of the work I did yesterday too, and I like it a lot. So it’s not a bad start to the day. Off to put the kettle on and get some fresh air. My head is still full of cobwebs…

And I’m back. Longer break than intended because I remembered I had a daughter, that she’s off school, and that she needs to be fed sometimes. Found her and forced breakfast upon her. I am a wonderful father.

Also I have crisps now, because scientists say that crisps are a brain superfood. Probably.

Onwards. Hope to finish up this chapter during the next bit.

10:40 – 11:25. 923 words (1586 total). Okay, that chapter’s done. A nice change of tone, something optimistic, a character full of hope and pride. That she’s actually completely delusional and has lost all track of what is going on around her is beside the point. I got to be happy with her for an hour, so that was nice. Off to make coffee.

Reading back over these entries, I seem to drink a lot more coffee than I thought I did.

11:45 – 13:00. 637 words (2223 total). Only half an hour writing in all that. The chapter I was about to start, in which two fellows scrap in an alley, is in the wrong place. There’s another I need to write before I get there, and I had to go back to my research to find the details I want to include from the real history that’s informing this fictional novel.

I hate research.

Still, with that done the chapter is moving nicely. Now I’m hungry. I will investigate a bagel. Dangerous business, bagels. We will see how many fingers I return with.

I still have the appropriate number of fingers. Just a quick lunch, because I’m feeling sleepy and lethargic. If I don’t dive straight back into this, I might not at all.

13:25 – 14:20. 1075 words (3298 total). This chapter has gone from being incredibly grim to bizarrely funny. In the middle of a comedy bit of business with a recalcitrant horse that’s almost slapstick. This may be too big a change of tone to make the final draft in this form, but I’ll run with it just now. Will take ten minutes to stretch my legs, then get back to it.

14:30 – 15:25. 782 words (4080 total). Comedy business with a horse has ended in DEATH. That’s more like it. Chapter finished, so a good time for a break. The last thousand and more words feels like an insurmountable hurdle from where I’m sitting now. I may not come back. That’ll teach this bloody book.

16:10 – 16:35. (4492 total) Dear god, what a struggle to drag myself back to the laptop. Head down. Soldier on. There’s nothing wrong with the words, they’re moving fine, but I really want to go and lie down somewhere. A thousand words to go, and I’d rather cut off my own hands than sit and write them. Kirsty has just come home from work, thankfully. A splendid excuse to run away, and come back for (hopefully) a last session in a bit.

Back, after an excuse to visit the shop and procrastinate further. Soon, there will be fireworks. I’m having enough trouble with this without literal flashing things to distract me.

17:10 – 17:35. 623 words (5115 total). It’s all kicking off! Men are fighting in dark alleys! I’ve nearly hit the word count for the day!

Don’t want to break now, but family fireworks are calling. I’ll make the next six hundred words happen while I’m throwing dinner together later.

Fireworks happened. Every year, India finds new ways to impress me with its scant regard of health and safety.

Bonfire NightHope you have a happy bonfire night back home. Be safe! But set fire to stuff! But safely!

Got back, cooked pasta and chucked some sauce from a jar on it. Ate that, and back at the laptop at 19:35. I hate having to work this late.

19:35 to 20:05. 685 words (5800 total). And stop. Word count made. Slightly exceeded, even. The fight is concluded, with one man standing, another bleeding at his feet, and two perplexed watchmen wondering what they should do about it all. A perfect place to pick up tomorrow.

The December Book now stands at 61,919 words long, and I’m still on target. With 5800 words complete, I wrote a little more than yesterday, but got distracted very easily because I’m tired. Honestly, today was like pulling teeth. I miss yesterday. Yesterday was nice to me. That I got through it at all makes me want to do a happy dance. Or maybe just a happy stagger. Something happy.

Going to try for a better night’s sleep, and hopefully a run in the morning if all goes well to wake me up properly before I start.

*It probably has a name that isn’t this, but I don’t know what it is, and this is probably better anyway.

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