So I’ve been working on a novel for the better part of two years. (Who am I kidding? It’s been longer than that!) I’m still not finished. There is no end in sight. What am I doing? Rumbling, tumbling, stumbling headlong in the direction of failure. Seems like I picked that direction at random one day and stuck with it. I’m bushwhacking in the goddamn jungle. I’m Percy Fawcett, the guy famous for getting lost in the Amazon looking for El Dorado. He was never heard from again. Years and years of searching, they never found the guy. For all we know he’s still out there, wandering in circles, chasing a story about fame and fortune.
I’m not exactly on the clock. No TPS report due anytime soon. No boss man breathing down my neck. Just my own inner literary agent needling me like a mosquito: Hey bub, this mythological novel of yours, anyone ever gonna see it?
I admit, words haven’t been forthcoming. Too many distractions, too many little, practical demands, all of which take me away from the difficult task of sitting in a room in silence, long enough for words to flow.
We are still occupied with settling in, doing the million-odd things that need to be done before one can feel settled. In our basic division of labor, this is my area of
I have two duties: 1) Figure out how to do things; and 2) Get things done. I’ve met with limited success. We have a car now and a bank account. Yippee!
But everything takes longer in another country. Simple tasks defy simplicity. And, as ever, I am obstructed by the Great Wall of Chinese.
It is to be expected; this is how it goes; you have been here before, Dahlia reminds me almost daily, and I tamp down expectations and redouble my efforts.
Given the context, a weekend away seems an extravagance, an unconscionable waste of a nonrenewable resource—time. But perhaps a jaunt is exactly what is needed, the very thing to rescue the writer from the creative doldrums.
We shall see.