Doldrums, Movement

I have all the windows open to get whatever coolth is possible before the day gathers steam into a scorcher. The meteorologists say we’re not getting the dry east wind from the Gorge but an offshore, western breeze instead, and that raises the humidity significantly. Normally in this weather we’ve got the Gorge breathing on us and it gets super dry. The extra bit of moisture may give us an edge against wildfires, but it also adds a layer of stress to bodily systems already struggling to deal with uncharacteristic heat.

I never do well with this kind of weather. Snow, ice, slush, terrible frigidity? All fine. Days upon gloomy days of grey cloud cover and drizzle? Perfect. But let the clouds clear and the mercury rise, and suddenly I feel a desiccated husk. Everything including my soul shrinks and my body reminds me that ever since that terrible almost-collapse in San Diego it doesn’t like anything above 75F, and will start shutting down to prove it.

A few endemic features of my profession have got me a bit frustrated as well. Publishing is a delayed-gratification game, and it’s furthermore set up to pummel a writer at every step–especially trad, which seems engineered, down to the smallest detail, to reduce the writer to scrap. Funny, the entire industry is built on what we create, and yet we’re treated as the most disposable part of the process, paid last and punished first. It takes a certain amount of strength to survive that, and even more stubbornness.

I often talk about spite being my fuel, and sometimes I feel like even my supply–near-infinite most days–is reaching its dregs. Yes, I’m feeling rather discouraged, my beloveds.

If I can just get through the heatwave things will probably feel less hopeless. At least all three projects are having forward movement. I figured out yesterday that Avery was resisting because Hell’s Acre needs a gangfight instead of the assassination I had planned (and he was anticipating), so as soon as I stopped trying to think through the latter a cork was pulled and the story began moving again. And the second Sons of Ymre took off too, a good 2k written instead of the measly 600 or so I was anticipating. An edit letter dropped for the third project, which means I have to shift gears to revision instead of moving ahead on Book 2, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

There’s my usual doldrums and fury at processing an edit letter as well. It’s the same each time–first I have to read the letter, get irate, and throw the damn thing in a drawer (physical or electronic) for about a week while I rage internally at the unfairness of not understanding my geeeenyus and how dare you tell me my book baby isn’t perfect? Nobody needs to hear that bitching, much less the editor who is, after all, only doing their job, 100% committed to making the book better, and probably right in 95% of cases. It’s up to me to deal with those feelings and get them out of the way so the work can continue, and I build that Week of Being Mad into my schedule as a matter of course.

It’s still profoundly uncomfortable to endure each time. A whole galaxy of nasty feelings has to be allowed to whirl around and spend themselves. Shoving them down or trying to ignore them does no good; one simply has to breathe through and get them out of the way much like squeezing poison from a wound.

The heat is mounting so I’d best get Boxnoggin walked and my own corpse run–assuming the temperature isn’t unlivable by the time I finish the former, of course. Maybe I’ll feel better after some physical effort, though it will ride the fine sharp edge of heat sensitivity.

I might also end this day hiding under my desk, sucking on a glass of ice water and snarling at any attempt to extract me from my cave. Heaven knows that sounds like a perfectly reasonable response to current conditions. We’ll see.

Happy Tuesday, my dears. Be gentle with yourselves; we’re all creaking at the seams a bit.