November 29, 2002, 1:49 p.m.

Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm!

back & forth

Oh, shit!

It's just been way. too. long, hasn't it? (That's what she said!). Twenty days without my Diaryland meds, and you'd think I'd come crawling back for it myself. Well, the usual bouquet of excuses applies, of course, as well as new ones shaped like this:

I have been doing incredibly well at NaNotWriMo, which is the sister-organization of National Novel-Writing Month. At first, I was not-writing slowly and delicately, spending as much time as possible planning out the novel I wasn't writing, clearing my head and then thinking through exactly how the scenes I wasn't going to write today would fit into the fragile reticulated structure of my not-novel. I would sit at a sunny window, drinking organic jasmine tea. I imagined whole empty, gossamer pages deckled and sized within an inch of their lives, completely un-written and un-illustrated. But as the month wore on, my abilities at not-writing took a leap into the excesses of the twentieth century. I was hunched over my typenotwriter, typenotwriting furiously, funnelling neat whisky down my throat -- it was my fuel, and I was a whisky engine, a not-writing machine. I lost sleep; I refused to go to work, I started to lose friends and enemies in equal share. At the end, I have almost three thousand pages closely not-written text.

Music: Die Zauberflöte, gods bless it.

One of the advantages of the strange sore-throat-cold-flu-gods-know-what-else demon which has been tormenting me for over a month now is that I have fevered dreams. These dreams have been fertile ground for my not-writing, in point of fact. Their illogic, their indescribable imagery; ay, that's the good stuff. For what is at the root of really good not-writing but indescribability? We wish to transcend with our not-writing, to undescribe the utterable, and, with luck, to take the usual drivel that explains the explainable and unravel it.

Reading: Penelope Fitzgerald's book about her father and uncles. It is very strange the dispassion with which she discusses her own father, mother, grandparents... I suppose that's what comes with being as magisterial as she is. Anyway, it's funny and beautiful and I really love how interconnected Edwardian England was. Of course they all knew everybody who was anybody. That's what I want to be when I grow up; a network of canny insiders, all capable of composing Greek elegaic couplets at the drop of a enormous feathered hat.