I’m heading into that part of a book where everything heats up, which means nixing most social engagements. (The Selkie, as always, gets a pass.) With all my emotional bandwidth taken up by the goddamn book, the bits left over are gathered together and used for the kids, making sure I don’t inadvertently say something sharp. I know all my edges are out during the last third of a book, and I want to insulate the people I care about. Budgeting that energy means something’s got to give, and that something is coffee dates, small talk, and sometimes even emails. It also means holing myself up in the office and furiously trying to exorcise the Mack-truck-sized thing trying to fit through my head. (No matter how many directions you turn that sumbitch, it’s gonna hurt.)
My farewell to meatspace socializing for a while was spent with my good friend Jeff Davis. He’s an interesting duck–collects ghost stories, and is quite good at it. He’s also a trained historian and archaeologist, and just released a fascinating book on local history. Apparently one of Custer’s brothers-in-law survived and was stationed in Vancouver, and his orders book has survived. It’s nifty to peek into Army life at the close of the 1800s. Jeff and I met at the Boomerang, and I got to hear quite a bit about local history, as always. He lights up while talking about it, and it’s great material. We often don’t realize, reading dry history dates in school, that people have always been strange as fuck-all.
So that was my last bit of socializing in person for a while, unless the Selkie drags me out of the house or there’s something school-related I can’t escape. Electronic socializing is much more easily paced, and can give me critical moments to think before pressing “send” that I might not have verbally. (My filter tends to thin out to “nonexistent” in the last few stages of a book.) I’m pretty much a hermit, at least until The Marked is in reasonable zero-draft form. Then it’s back to Steelflower, and then–
Oh, dear. I may not go anywhere in person until next year. Except, when forced, to go buy food and supplies for a houseful of bipedal or furry dependents. I suppose one could get a lot of stuff delivered, but it ends up being stupidly expensive and one has to corral the dogs and make small talk with the delivery people. They won’t just leave wine on one’s doorstep and leave, more’s the pity. Might as well go out and continue my lifelong research into human beings. I suppose each book could count as a term paper, in a funny way.
Right then. Shifting primarily to electronic (and thus, easily regulated) socializing in 3…2…1…