Block Compression

I don’t have a concussion. What I had (have?  considering I’m still getting the occasional — albeit mild — dizzy spell, I’ve probably still got it) is a viral infection of the inner ear, and two inflamed eustachian tubes.  So, yeah, that was all sort of fun last week.

My doctor said “I don’t want to tell you that it’s all in your head” right before she wrote me a prescription for Valium. Valium. Yep. To deal with the dizziness while the viral infection cleared up.  Yep.  That was her story, and she stuck with it. I took it for a couple of days, and didn’t notice anything other than I didn’t notice the dizziness while my body was clearly still experiencing an offness in the Force equilibrium. So, I stopped taking it and just coped with the dizzy while the generic Flonase did its thing.

If I’m in a movie where walls are suddenly going to jump out at me at any second,  I don’t want a soundtrack that suggests that I’m not going to have any problems whatsoever getting from my desk to the coffee maker.

And then…

*cue ominous music*

…there was an epic stomach flu.

Y’know, I’m taking all of this physical illness as a sign that the Penguins might be getting scared of this novel. I’m still hooking together the block-bones one by one during the time I’ve set aside for it, despite all of this. More importantly, I also didn’t experience any pre-, post- or in medias panic when my boss walked into my home office earlier this week, and hey, oh hai, there’s this outline on the wall that … oops …

Those of you who already know me understand how I’ve always tried to keep my writing life separate from — okay, most of the rest of my life, but particularly from the parts of it where people give me money on a regularly scheduled basis.  It eventually creeps into work life, sure, but I’ve always done my best to keep the particulars of it offstage, like it’s a genetic relative whose picture I don’t keep on my desk, I only go to see on occasional holidays, and who’ll never turn up at corporate functions.

This is the point in the blog when @esmerel and @agrimny and a few dozen other folks might start laughing, remembering Mom’s showing up at my wedding (which was in a sense a corporate function).

I had some warning that my boss was coming over. It didn’t even occur to me that I should throw the outline into a drawer and shove the writing-related references I’m working with behind some of the random toys and computer related crap spilling out of the wall bookcases like all la-la-la nothing to see here but ordinary domestic mayhem.

So, uhm, I think that must be some sort of psychological progress.  Or something. Alright, it could have just been lingering aftereffects from the Valium.


The Compressed Blocks

The Compressed Blocks

I’m pretty sure, though, it wasn’t the Valium that made me look at the chapter blocks of Big Block #3, eye Big Block #4 and decide that the latter was just a rehash of the former.  Okay, I suppose I could be kind to myself and say that I tightened the middle. In my head, it’s now a bit less Terry Gilliam and a bit more Michael Bay. (As a random aside, @kylemaxwell, that’s how I explained the differences between The Burning Life and Empyrean Age to @bhoneydew last night.)

Unfortunately, the novel’s quickie ab job has now shown me that its butt is definitely a bit flat, and its legs stop somewhere around the knees.

Nothing that can’t be fixed, right?

2 thoughts on “Block Compression

  1. I swear to God, Shai, in front of the Internet and everybody:


    This is a terrible truth, because once you get your Author on, you are going to have conflicts of writing headspace with getting-paid headspace ALL THE TIME.

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