The sun is missing, today. The rain has come down for hours, steady at times, drizzling at others. The wind is whipping through my opened windows, bringing into my office the day’s odd mix of warm humidity and chill breeze. I’m at my desk, staring at the screen with dry, scratchy eyes that are reluctant to stay open.
I’ve been working on my manuscript again, trying to trim it down before the next round of submissions. At this point, I think my generous word count is harming my efforts to secure an agent. So, I’ve begun another death-march through my work, killing as much as can be killed without harming the storyline. So, far, I’ve lobbed off a good seven thousand words. That takes me down to 155,000. A monster, still, I know, but a much smaller one than when I first started out. There are forty more chapters to go, and I’m hoping to make it under 149,000 by the end.
While necessary, this work is wearing on my mind. Everything is a second guess. Each word seems a weak substitute for a more brilliant, wildly elusive turn of phrase. The repetitiveness of the lines–lines I almost know by heart–and the endless stretches of white screen punctuated by little black symbols are having a soporific effect on me. I’m halfway between breakdown and shutdown, and struggling to stay awake.
I’ve made peppermint tea to stimulate my mind. I’ve gotten up and thrown punches at nothing. I’ve chased the cats around the house. I’ve tried downward facing dog to promote blood circulation in my brain. All I’ve managed to do is: 1) make myself run to the bathroom every six minutes, 2) pull something weird–and probably crucial–in my arm, 3) tripped over my fuzzy yellow raver slippers and nearly wiped out on the coffee table, and 4) shown my ass to the squirrel at the bird feeder. Despite all this rousing activity, I’m still sleepy.
Oh, wait. The water delivery guy is here. Well, that ought to keep me up for another five minutes. After that, I’m hitting the caffeine.