Altered Deal

A cold morning. Not enough coffee. Dogs quiet after they rooted me out of bed with cold noses and the absolute unquenchable commitment to wriggling under the covers with me.

It’s not that I minded, there just wasn’t any room, so I had to get up and make some caffeine.

Today is for proofing HOOD‘s Season Two and wordcount on a couple other projects. I know I swore I’d just work on one thing at a time, and I am. I’ve just altered the meaning of “at a time” slightly; otherwise, I’d never get anything done.1

Mostly, it’s a crisis of confidence. My career is changing, and that means discomfort. I keep thinking nothing will ever get better, I’ll be struggling and scratching all my life, and it’s tiring. Why I expect it to be any different is beyond me; at the same time, there’s only so much well, I knew this when I started can do to ameliorate the feeling of what the hell?

There’s a lot of what the hell going on in my life right now.

My coffee is cooling rapidly, the dogs need a walk, I should plant a few things in the garden to get a jump on spring. The early cherry tree down the road keeps giggling every time I pass. Look, she says, you were so worried, but it’s fine. Leave the worry behind.

I wish I could. Would someone else pick it up if I did? Maybe the worry could carry itself, but if it could, what the hell is it doing on my back?

…yeah, I’m in a Mood. The cure is work, as usual; if I view the pain as labor pangs I can bite down and wonder what might be birthing. It could be that I’m having one of those strange plateaus before the work takes a leap forward, which would be welcome indeed.

Of course, some of this could be the fact that Sons of Ymre is 47k long and just embarking on its last half. There’s so much to be done, and I wonder if the story is top-heavy or just plain stupid. The crisis of confidence on a single story is metastasizing, spreading through everything else I need to get done on a daily basis.

So this is the part where I get stubborn. It might be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad story, but at least it will not be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, unfinished story. Small mercy, but one I’ll take. Ambition and the desire for security has never really moved me, but spiteful stubbornness? That’s the whipcrack I respond to, indeed.

I suppose if I get mad or spiteful I’d be able to buckle down more easily. But I’m so tired lately. Maybe I should blame time off; getting back to work seems an insurmountable chore once I halt. Objects in motion tending to stay in motion, and all that.

I’m even irritating myself with this. Time to gulp the last bit of caffeine, buckle the dogs into their harnesses, and get out the door. A brisk walk in the cold will hopefully give me better things to worry about.

I tell everyone else to just keep writing and trust the work. It’s that magical moment where I have to take my own damn advice or stop handing it out. It’s damn hard to trust the work when one doesn’t even trust oneself, but paradoxically easier than thinking one’s self might be trustworthy at all.

And now that I’ve confused myself mightily, I swear I’m getting out the door. Tuesday has managed to gain the initiative roll, but my armor class is high, I’ve shifted my charisma to dexterity, and I have a few daggers lying about.

The campaign ain’t over yet.

  1. Pray I don’t alter the deal further…