Thursday, February 11, 2010

Surreal Snow Day

I had a very disorienting day yesterday. For some strange reason, I went through the whole day thinking it was Thursday, in spite of multiple reminders that it was Wednesday. It was like I felt I was right and it was the rest of the universe out of whack. For instance, during the mid-day news, they focus the weather report entirely on the rest of the day, that night, and then the next day. I was annoyed that they didn't mention Friday's weather (which I thought was the next day) and were only talking about the weather for the rest of that day (Thursday). I turned in my weekly project that's due on Wednesday, but it still felt like Thursday. I even got to the point of setting the VCR to tape The Office while I watched Supernatural, only to have the VCR tell me it was Wednesday.

And then I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday. For even more surrealism, I woke up to a winter wonderland. I knew we were supposed to get some snow today, but it was supposed to be less than two inches, and it wasn't supposed to start until noon. However, when I went into the kitchen to make breakfast, I found that there was already at least two inches of snow on my patio table and fence. It's still coming down pretty steadily.

Here's the view from my office balcony (from a couple of hours ago, so there's even more snow now).

Even though I work at home and the snow really has no bearing on my life, somehow it feels like normal operations should be suspended when there's a snow day. I should get a fire going, then lie on the sofa and read while occasionally looking out the window at the falling snow.

But instead I may see if I have the willpower to work at my desk so I can write and watch it snow. The other part of the surreality of yesterday involved a massive procrastination fit. It wasn't really a block, but I was dealing with a scene that I couldn't quite bring myself to write. A lot of the changes that I've made to earlier parts of the book have come from ideas I got while trying to plan this scene. It's like I get to this scene and my brain is so eager to avoid it that it comes up with other things that have to be rewritten instead. But I finally reached the place where I had to write it (well, rewrite it -- it builds off a scene I've already written, but it's going to replace the existing scene). I had it all planned. And yet I found myself doing almost everything to avoid writing it.

I rewrote my freelance project, coming up with something entirely different at the last minute (which means next week's work is already done, so I'll get a break). I suddenly had to research some music that was inspiring parts of the scene and that would be used in the scene, so I had to try to find my recording of "Begin the Beguine" (turns out I don't have it on CD -- must rectify that) and then I had to find out when it was actually written. Then I started listening to other music related to that era and the scene (which gave me a massive longing to dance a really nice foxtrot with a partner who knows what he's doing). I rearranged the soundtrack I put together for this book because it's shaping up in unexpected ways. I wrote some blog posts to use in the future. I re-read some related blog posts from the past.

And then when I finally made myself write the scene, it went in an entirely unexpected direction that I think is a lot better than what I had planned. It's possible that the fit of procrastination was my subconscious getting me out of the way again. Now I know what happens next, and I'm eager to get to it. I may even be eager enough to write it while I'm connected to the Internet and watching it snow.

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