atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#7152: Well, most of my plans were accomplished.

Holiday weekend, negotiated half a day off Friday. (Have Monday off, of course.) Great! I could do all the running around and get my motorcycle street-legal, then take it for a ride!

Left work a bit after 12:00, came home and contacted the insurance agency and got all that going. Hit the currency exchange and got new plates for the bikes (both mine and my wife's) and then came home with lunch around 2-ish.

Was sitting here, letting lunch digest, when my wife (who also took a half-day today) suggested we go take a rest. That's usually not code for anything, and wasn't this time; it was just, "Let's go lay in bed like we always talk about doing when we don't want to get up and go to work the next day."

In the evening, at bedtime, that comes up every so often: "Wouldn't it be nice if we could just lay in bed all day tomorrow?" It's not that we're lazy; it's that we work hard and want a break once in a while.

ANY-dang-way: I demurred, intending to get out of my chair and go ride, but sitting there my eyelids were getting very heavy and I just didn't have any get-up-and-go, so eventually I gave in and hit the sack myself.

I fell asleep almost immediately and slept for--I don't even know how long. I got up for a bit and sat in my rocking chair, trying to psych myself up, but I just couldn't summon any energy, so I went back to bed again, and slept more.

And of course woke up with maybe thirty minutes of daylight left and still no energy.

Well, like I said, it's a 3-day weekend, and there's no real rain predicted for two of the three days. I guess that will have to do. WTF, I've waited this long to ride the thing (since July of last year) so a day or two more shouldn't hurt.

* * *

I said "negotiated"--I originally asked for Friday off. How it happened was this way:

The last three days at work have been stultifyingly slow. I have a handful of tickets in my queue, and most of them are on hold until the lockdowns ease up. Two tickets are waiting for a machine to be shipped to me. One, I can't do anything with until a username has been created. The others are on hold because the lockdown itself keeps me from doing anything with them; they all require that I go to another site and intra-site visits are currently "critical need only", and these ain't critical by a long shot. (Example: you don't need your conference room's camera to work when you're furloughed.) It literally took me half an hour to go through my queue and update everything on Thursday, and after that I had nothing to do for the rest of the day. Most people have worked out the bugs in their work-from-home rigs by now and with the impending holiday weekend a bunch of folks are taking vacation time. Thursday, the Jeep was one of a bare handful of cars in the "office" parking lot.

So I made a cheeky request for the day off with the proviso that if my boss said "No" I would not be upset. My boss said, "How about half a day?" and I jumped at it. That was actually better--that would get me up and moving in the morning, so in the early afternoon I could come home and get stuff done. (I really like my boss, and this is the best team I've ever worked with.)

...but the truncated workday didn't change the dynamic much. I got in, updated my tickets, and then sat there, with the result that when it was time to go home I had to shake myself out of a torpor, and apparently I didn't completely rid myself of it. Because I sure slept.

The thing that scares me is, computer repair is a zero-sum game. When you get no tickets for a certain time period, you will get that many more when things pick up again. So "no tickets this week" means "twice the tickets next week", approximately. I expect June to be, charitably, "hectic".

* * *

Meanwhile, the rewrite project that I should not really be working on is getting worked on during these periods of having absolutely nothing else to do. It's that, or endless nonsensical doodles in the notebook.

I am damned unsatisfied with the way the book was originally written, because in the latter third of the thing, the plot went off the damned rails. I suppose I could defend it by saying, "It seemed like a good idea at the time," except that after I'd finished the story I realized I just didn't like it. And all through Apocalyptic Visions I found myself thinking about how I was going to rewrite this story so that it wouldn't suck so much.

It starts off as a "locked room" murder mystery but that part of the story is both a MacGuffin and a red herring--it serves to begin the story and it gets the main character to the world it takes place on, but it's not the real story and this is not meant to be a murder mystery novel.

I'm less than thirty pages in and I've already made some drastic changes. Originally, Mr. Boddy was disemboweled and had his skull crushed; now he's just disemboweled. A key support character has been made much younger (on the order of a century). I'm revealing the details of the murder at a faster pace and letting the main character learn things faster, too, because I want to get this out of the way in the first quarter or half of the story, rather than having it take up two thirds of the book.

The hard part of this story, though, is the fact that the victim is a pedophile. It doesn't matter if the reader has any sympathy for him, and I don't care (and the main character himself nearly quits the case when he learns all this) but although I know it'd be easier to write this story if he wasn't, I can't convince myself to change that detail.

The murder takes place on the one planet in the known galaxy where Mr. Boddy's proclivities won't land him in jail, it's a planet with a vanishingly small murder rate, and he's from a planet where he'd most assuredly get hanged for them--so our hero has reluctantly ruled out his paraphilia as a motive for his murder. (Mostly: Mr. Boddy and abruptly fled another planet which was also a "hang him high!" world.)

Anyway, there's a lot going on there, and it's all been percolating almost the entire time I've been writing AV, so I suppose it's not a bad thing that I'm getting it down on paper. My subconscious has been right about plot elements more often than my conscious brain has been--at least, when I feel dubious about something or other, it always turns out to have been right--so I'm going to run with it.

* * *

"Wait," you say. "You just said you didn't like a third of the book, but that your subconscious is usually right, so which is it?"

There's a difference between "I don't know about this," which is how I feel about Mr. Boddy being a pedo, and "What in the hell is that shit?" which is my reaction to the last third of the rough draft when I read it now. What I wrote seemed like a logical development of the plot, but upon more sober reflection it seems stupid and out of place.

* * *

Anyway--Friday night, and no dinner yet. Guess who gets to fix that?
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