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Two Days in the Life of a Monkey

As advertised, I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As advertised, I wrote 3,000 words. And then I went home and wrote another 1,000 just for good measure.

I was in the gallery above the Outer Bay exhibit, where they're housing the great white. It wasn't that great. For one thing, it was tiny. In fact, it was about half the size of the largest tuna in the tank. For another thing, it stayed away from the glass because of the zillions of people taking flash pictures, despite the warning that went out every minute or so that said "For the health and safety of our animals, please don't use flash photography." After a while, people just started yelling "NO FLASH!" at the idiots who were using their cameras.

I wasn't paying much attention to the tank, wanting to get my words written and get off that really uncomfortable bench. I could tell, though, when the shark appeared because the noise level in the room would reach a crescendo, only to die back after the shark left. A lot of people would be pointing in the same gesture that the people in the Underdog cartoons used to point out Underdog flying above them.

The biggest reaction, however, was garnered not by the shark but by one of the other large fish when it spectacularly pooped in the water, evoking a roar from the crowd. The dusty brown cloud hovered for a minute before dispersing, and everyone there will have something to tell their families when they get home. I hope they got pictures. But not with flash.

I didn't make it to the halfway party, but I did to laundry and go grocery shopping over the hill before driving up to San Leandro to pick up the Baby Goddess. Before I left I had done about 1,500 words, and managed another 1,700 after I got home again. Then pirateguillermo and I hit the hot tub before going to bed. Didn't help. We both slept badly anyway. He thinks it was the pumpkin ravioli we had for dinner, but I'm not sure.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)
The halfway party was cancelled due to ML illness. Come next Saturday to the Milestone party (30K by the 20th).

Terrel (a Santa Cruz wrimo) went to the Aquarium, but it appears she missed you completely. She was bummed. If you feel like coming down tonight, we're going to the Santa Cruz Diner on Ocean St. for a write-in, 6-8 PM.
Nov. 15th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)
LOL! This reminds me of when I went to the Omaho Zoo, and one of the primates (was it an oragutang? I don't remember now.) Pooped into it's hand, dumped the poop, and brought it's hand up to it's nose to smell. This brought a chorus of "Ew!!" from the crowd, and parents started hustling their young kids away. Before they could get any ideas, I guess.
Nov. 15th, 2004 10:28 am (UTC)
even though I mainly walked around to see the fishies, it was still good to see you. thanks for advertising the writing adventure. it was good to get back to the Aquarium.

I did write some at OVC before heading to mootmom's on Sunday.
Nov. 16th, 2004 10:42 pm (UTC)
I'm responding to your next post, the one you've locked. And I'm one of those strange critters that READS all of your posts. They're always so well written and for the most part, ABOUT SOMETHING. I learn from them. I commiserate.

All I can say about this post is that I've been there, so I know the solution. And it's easy. Let go of somethingss (yeah, plural). One per month. Just let go. And yeah, you'll disappoint people in the process, but guess what? There will be other people who will be made very happy by your decision.

Start with Nano. Let go of the book. It will be there next month. And the month after. And the momth after. If you still want the challenge, pick a month that's better for you. The first time I did Nano, I did it in January. What a perfect month -- rainly, post holiday slow down, 31 days, etc. I'm not sure why Chris chose November, but it sucks. So drop Nano Novembers. And next year, you can still hang out with the crazies -- drop in at the Cafe and swap stories as your work on your current project, you just won't be doing traditional nano work.

Pick something and drop it...I promise, you'll be glade you did, and everything else will looks so much less bleak...
Nov. 29th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
You know, you are the most amazing person. Thank you so much for this. I did drop Nano, but I realized that the thing that was draining and exhausting me wasn't the effort, it was the clutching at that effort. I was straining so hard, and when I stopped straining, it got easier. I did decide not to go headlong into the next project, and I'm happy about that decision.

I'm anxious to get going on the next step.
Nov. 29th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words ... it's so good to hear that you've been able to step it back a bit. Don't rest on your laurels though...there's more hard work ahead. Keep pruning your responsibilites back until you feel some more of that psychological weight being lifted...

You're an awsome person and an AMAZING talent, so don't get discouraged. The thing about the writing biz is that AMAZING talents often have to work even hader than the "hacks". It's much easier for an agent, an editor, or a publisher to sell the latest Danielle Steel wannabe than someone following their own vision. It's sad, but true. So stay the course and you'll hit pay dirt. I'm not just trying to make a friend feel better either -- when it comes to art, I never lie. If I don't like a friend's work, I steer away from the issue or give a generic response if pinned to the wall. I'm telling you like it is -- your stuff is FANTASTIC, and whether or not it gets published is gonna be decided by how much you want it. Keep it in circulation -- I mean, if you want an agent, send it out to another one every time you get a rejection. And keep going to conferences whenever you can. Meeting agents and talking to them before submitting to them definitely can be an asset.

Keep creating!

(By the way, I no longer believe in the concept of "hacks". I know how much work it is to write a novel, even a bad one, so I think the concept of the hack was thought up by a frustrated reviewer somewhere and doesn't really apply to the bad novelist. These people really belive in what they're doing, so I give them props for that.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )