Day 4

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.