Thursday, July 14, 2005

Loose Pages on the Floor

Mages in the living room.  The pillow was made by my stepmother from my dad's old ties.Okay, I just decided to skip tonight's workout, which means I've taken three nights off in the past week or so.  That's not good, but I'll do better in the week ahead.

See, the thing is, aside from one glorious lie-in last Friday night to Saturday afternoon, I haven't had even gotten sorta-kinda-almost adequate sleep recently.  Last night I went to bed sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 AM, and got up (after hitting the snooze bar) at 7:30 AM.  And that's not the first time in the past week I've done that.

I've kept terrible hours before, lots of times.  Back in college, my friends and I ended more than a few D&D sessions around 5 AM.  When I was in my thirties, I could pull the occasional all-nighter to finish editing a fanzine or collaborate with Teresa on a Starlog article.  Even during my second stint in college, Nov. 2002 to early Feb. 2005, I sometimes finished my homework (or some portion thereof) at 3 AM the night before class.  But it's gotten harder on me over the years to make my brain function the next day.  I mustn't cheat myself out of sleep.  I know this.

So why the self-destructive hours recently?  It comes down to one thing.

I've been reading my favorite book.

Several of my online friends can string out the reading of a novel over a period of weeks or months, even if it's one they enjoy.  I'm not generally like that.  Sure, if it's something I've read many times, I may set it aside after 20 or 200 pages, and go do something else for a few years.  But once a book sucks me in, even if it's one I've read before, I find it difficult to do anything else with my leisure time, or even with the hours reserved for sleep, until I get to the last page.  Even then I have trouble throwing off the book's allure, and getting on with my life.

Mages in the bathroom.You may be certain, for example, that there's going to be a new Harry Potter novel in my hands when I show up at the Red Cross on Saturday to give blood.  I'll probably prop it on the treadmill to read in the gym, and basically do nothing else until I get to the end of the book.

But I haven't been reading J.K. Rowling this week.  I've been reading Blocher, specifically Mages of Mâvarin.

Please understand, the fact that this is currently my favorite book of all time does not mean that I think it's the best book I've read.  It isn't.  Right now it's a magnificent mess, literally and figuratively.  Pages of it are lying around in at least three rooms of the house, left over from my printing the later chapters to read at night.  Plus the text itself is full of notations like this:

<--Should be a little frostiness between them at the end of Return.

<--follow up!

Mages in my office.<--Summary into scene?

[Rewrite and insert if possible.]

<--finish.

<--fix continuity

[insert revision.]

<--write.

<--not needed.

There are serious continuity glitches, and missing scenes, and scenes that end in the middle. And yet it's terribly long, over 1200 double-spaced pages at last count, over 320,000 words.  I've tried to break it into two books, or even three or four, but the truth is that it's just one really long book.  I should stop trying to disguise it, and accept that emulating Tolkien's three volume format just isn't going to help.

But I love this problem child of mine.  I love these characters, and what they say and do and think, the terrible troubles they get into, and the way something good comes out of each disaster.  I love it for what's on the pages so far, and what can be on them when I'm done. 

I just have to find a way to work on it, and still get some sleep!

Speaking of which, good night!

Karen

4 comments:

gdireneoe said...

Kaaaaaaaaaaaaarennnnnnnn...I know you're therrrrrrrrre.  LOL   I have my days/nights turned around right now too.        C.       http://journals.aol.com/gdireneoe/thedailies

deabvt said...

320,000???
Wow!
V

rap4143 said...

Karen also stay up late with very little sleep but it starting catching up with me.  Also there is a study lack of sleep you have a tendency to put weight on :( my problem. I'm trying to become more active during the day.
Betty

ryanagi said...

I need to get back to reading. I haven't made time to read in a while now.