Questions of the day:
When will I learn that writing is a slow process? That revision is a slow process? That no matter how much I enjoy what I’m doing–and, contrary to normal hyperbolic squawking, I do enjoy it, especially revision–I will not turn out page after page after page in a two-hour session?
That when I finish one scene, I have to go on to the next? That no matter how much I admire what I have just completed, I can’t stop to celebrate by stopping for the day?
That 1800 words is a lot, but measured against the NaNo 50,000, or indeed the 80,000 I really need, it’s a drop in the proverbial bucket? And less than that in the proverbial ocean?
No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
Those lines just popped into my head. They show the situation is worse than I thought. There isn’t just one proverbial ocean, there are multitudinous seas. And tossing my 1800 words from the shore would be like immersing a bottle of food coloring. Not even the sharks would notice.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean – roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin – his control
Stops with the shore.
I thought of that, too. My grandfather, I’m told, sang scales to a truncated first line: Roll on thou deep blue ocean–roll! It doesn’t work in iambic pentameter, though. Accents go on Roll and roll.
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!
And that slipped in with the others. I sing this one because, as soon as I think of it, it sticks in my head. I would sing more, but this is all I know.
I’ve been wondering what to do after I leave this coffee shop. Now I know. I’ll sing. Driving home. Cooking dinner. From time to time throughout the evening, when I least expect it, I’ll burst into song. David won’t say anything. He appears to have gotten used to it.
I haven’t been stuck on “Mandalay” for quite a while. My default is
Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin
So there are advantages to having Kipling on the brain. I know only half a verse of the crocodile, and failing to reach a natural ending, an “Amen” of sorts, leads to immediate and unfortunate repetition. Sort of like what happens with Little Bunny Foo Foo. I taught Little Bunny Foo Foo to my cousin’s kids when I was in high school. I don’t think their mother has ever forgiven me. I may teach it to her grandchildren.
The clock on the computer tells me it’s past time to start home. I didn’t finish what I started out to do, but, having emptied my brain of over five hundred unnecessary words, I’m much lighter in spirit.
William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act II, Scene ii
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto the Second, CLXXIX
Rudyard Kipling, “Mandalay”
Jack Lawrence, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”
Photographs of Shakespeare, Byron, and Kipling are in the public domain.
Crocodile wallets from Bangkok crocodile farm is used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be accessed at GNU Free Documentation License.