28 July 2006

A Beautiful Day in the Country

What do people talk about when they feel like talking but have nothing to say? The weather, of course!

Today was actually dreary. I mean, it was grey, and cloudy, and the sun never did break through. There was no rain, of course, no storm clouds on the horizon, no constant drizzle, but it was nonetheless about as English as the weather he is likely to get. Mostly it was because of a large amount of dust in the atmosphere, blowing in from the Sahara I suppose. Whatever it was, the temperature stayed below 100 all day and it was frankly almost pleasant outside.

I managed to finish chapter 17 today, which was a very good development. This may sound a little strange, since I've been working in the 80s lately as I've reported. But way back when I started this book, I left chapter 17 blank because I was waiting to get a copy of an old email I'd sent, way back in 1999, the substance of which was to form the bulk of chapter 17.

I keep old emails. I had emails going back several years until, in a fit of stupidity in 2002, I managed to delete like four years worth of emails trying to move them from an old computer to a new one. Then, when the most recent laptop died in 2004, I lost the last two years' worth of emails. I had hoped when I started writing this that someone to whom I sent that email back in 1999 might still have a copy of it--but most people aren't quite the digital packrats I am. I had left the chapter blank awaiting some sort of salvation, but it's clearly not forthcoming.

I remembered that the chapter was still unwritten and thought that, when I finally do manage to finish chapter 100--or wherever it finally ends, which may be somewhat before then--it would be a sort of empty victory if I still had chapter 17 left to write. So I went and wrote it today. And I finished chapter 84 and got more than halfway done with chapter 85. In fact, the top of the page when I start tomorrow will be the climactic scene, there in 85, when the final bit of icing tops our narrator's cake and his little world falls apart. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

1 comment:

ams said...

If only you had needed an email written to me c.1996. Digital packrat, hrmph. For a few months there, you could have had genuine pulp and toner (much to Kel's dismay).