A few years ago, when I was working on the Merfolk story, I allowed myself 30k to dally around in the setting and the characters and figure out what an underwater city would really be like. It consisted of a market that went up the face of a sea cliff, with stalls tucked into the nooks and crannies and caves; a castle made of coral; and kingdoms delineated by razorweed and schools of fish, and a giant squid that swam around being awesome, but hadn't found its purpose yet. Actually, it was all pretty cool, though terribly difficult. (Like playing the underwater levels in video games. NO ONE likes the underwater levels. It's hard enough to worry about up, down, left, and right without also thinking about forwards and backwards and upside-down and rightways-left.) But when I hit 30k I made myself stop and really try to figure out the political conflict. I had something vague, and it built up until I had a detailed conspiracy that just didn't fit together completely yet. Like a puzzle, I had this red section put together, and all this green over here put together, but the important parts wouldn't fit yet. Then, I had this flash of OMG THIS GUY IS A TRAITOR AND HE DID THIS AND THIS AND THIS AND SO AND SO FINDS OUT AND ZOMFG I AM A GENIUS!!! So I sat down to write everything out so I wouldn't forget it, and *poof* it was gone. GONE. It was worse than trying to remember a dream. I tried to get it back for a couple of weeks, then put it aside, disheartened, meaning to get back to it. I still haven't. Maybe someday, because that flash of brilliance was like a freaking drug and I want to find it again. (And yes, I realize that maybe my flash of brilliance wasn't as flashy or as brilliant as I think it was, and it was just an in-the-moment brain-high. I don't care. I remember it as awesome, and that makes it so.)
So where am I in my current story? That place with lots of pieces and lots of space in between them. I know point B, but point A keeps changing. Sometimes I feel like I'm thinking through vanilla pudding and sometimes I feel like a puppy chasing a biscuit that's dangling from a stick tied to my collar. I am slowly unearthing more about my characters, but each bit leads to five other bits I need to figure out. But I really really want to find that awesome thing that makes everything fit together. I'm sure it won't be that easy. In the meantime, I'm trying to keep everything straight in my head enough to keep writing. It's working somewhat. Too much time is devoted to the house. Granted, the house really needs to get done. But spending three hours a night going over the same areas over and over again with the freaking spackle knives, and then with the sanding block getting shit in your eyes and your nose because dust is everywhere and it's not nearly as fun as Dust it's just scratchy and dry... it makes you punchy really quick. Especially when I'm not giving myself time for the fun things, like writing or keeping up with tv shows or just taking a deep breath and enjoying the fact that I'm living in my own space.
I really want to write. Phil really wants to play Borderlands. It makes for two rankled people and slow-going with the spackle. We wanted to be finished by Monday, but not sure if that is still going to happen. I don't want to say we can't do it, because then I'll just give it up for a bad job and nothing will get done before then and now. So. MONDAY. FUCK YOU MORE THAN NORMAL.