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January 09, 2006

Go sit on the lawn and do nothing

I set a deadline for myself so of course I didn't meet it. One thousand measly words were all I needed to write. One thousand tiny, insignificant words in a pretty blurby picture that will dazzle a potential publisher - a biggee in the Canadian market, no less - who had already expressed interest on a book I'm pretending to write.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMy self-imposed deadline, conceived on Friday, was today. Therefore, I spent the weekend making out with a cute guy, fighting with close friend and nemesis AlefAlef, making up with close friend and nemesis AlefAlef, playing an atrociously addictive computer game called Civilization (I just defeated both the Aztecs and the English; not even the Spanish can claim that!), singing along with Fiona Apple 'cause she, like, totally gets my soul, man (If there was a If there was a better way to go then it would find me / I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me / Be kind to me or treat me mean / I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine), and reading up on American politics as a distraction from Canada's upcoming election in which the party, whose main platform is to tell me that I may not, in fact, get married after all, seems slated to win.

With the world falling apart and all, why should waste my time writing a novel about young, bilingual, Jews from Montreal trying to understand their murky ties to Quebec, Canada, and Israel when there are kooky American ultra-right-wing sites to both amuse and nauseate me? Why should I flesh out the details of a short story - an adaptation of the story of Job - when there are cities to take over and slaves to capture? Indeed, why should I try and find a way to scrounge up February rent when Fiona warbles at me with her sweet, gravely voice (If you don't have a date, celebrate / Go out and sit on the lawn and do nothing).

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe solution is to find myself a good agent and a good editor to make complete nudniks of themselves until I relent and meet my deadlines. I have always been the an acolyte of the procrastinatory branch of the religion of Western work ethic, but if I succeed in turning this publisher away I'll more than likely have to take my vows and become a high priest in the field. No vows of celibacy for me. Non-celibacy is one of the finest manners of procrastination.

When I was in high school I literally tied myself to my desk when it came time to write papers so that I would stay seated. It did restrain me physically but it couldn't keep my brain from taking me travelling through time and space to anywhere but wherever I was supposed to be writing from. And this - get this! - was in the days before home computers took over the Western hemisphere. There was no such thing as email (imagine!). No such thing as Internet, the biggest distraction of them all. Thanks a lot, Al Gore!

Hey look - I've spent almost 500 hundred words in writing this. Time well wasted.

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