Vacation

I’m quite looking forward to the Fifth Annual Robinson Family Vacation (Third, if you only count since we’ve been married).

I have a plan.

It’s been incredibly slow going with the “final” revision/expansion of my novel over the past few years. First, I lost my optimal writing position of lying prone on my bed with my laptop on a table the same height as my mattress. Then LSWV died Then I lost the ability to write well into the night because Missy wakes me up about 9 a.m. every single day. I hate that I’m awake now because it means I’m not going to get eight hours of sleep and, because of when I need to go to work and the things I need/want to do before work, naps usually are out of the question.

We’re going to Vegas.

Along with vague plans to drive to the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles — along with playing a couple of slot machines and maybe blackjack, because I’ve been poor for the past 11 years because of my profession as a journalist so I literally have nothing to lose — I’m going to write.

Once I’m 100% certain I can bring LSW8 with me on a plane, I’m going to set up a writing platform, get recumbent and try to finish writing the two or three new parts I need to add and finish revising the rest. I’m sure there are going to be moments when I’m wide awake and my wife is not or she’ll be doing something I have no interest in doing. I mean, I read an entire Franzen novel in Miami last year.

I’m at 270-odd pages and nearly 100,000 words now. I’m on Page 207, and I doubt I’m adding more than 30 pages with the two or three new sections I’m adding. I can get this done before the summer is over and pass it on to my peers while I craft my query letter (I already know the format of it).

I can do this. All I need is booze, a prone position, no dog and the night.

And winning a couple hundred bucks.

benchmark

Back in 2005 — Oct. 23, if I remember correctly — I left myself a note to play “The Gate” by Belle & Sebastian at 10:43 a.m. a year later, or something like that. That morning in my childhood bedroom, as the sun was setting on my college career, I wondered where I’d be a year later.

When the notification buzzed, I was in my Petersburg apartment, getting ready to head to my first newsroom. I could have sworn I mentioned that in an entry here, but that week, all I really talked about was how I was using my old desktop computer, LSW1, after LSW2 died on me for the second time. Oh and going to the New Jersey Institute of Technology for its annual Halloween party. My car didn’t get broken into that year.

Renée and I have been talking about moving out of this house almost since the day we moved in. Closet space is lacking. The living room is too small to hold more than a couch and some folding chairs. The in-floor furnace up here and electric baseboard downstairs is too inefficient in the winter and I finally figured out how to keep it somewhat tolerable throughout the summer with just window fans (although we acquired a window air conditioner a few weeks ago).

I’ve resolved to be in a new place in October.

Dave shared Kerbside Collection with me a few hours ago. I said I wasn’t going to buy more music this week, but here we are with both their albums.

I have a reminder to play this album at midnight a year from now. It’s a Saturday and probably a payday, so I’ll at least have the reminder. I just want to pause for a moment a year from now and think about how I was sitting in my living room on still brand-new LSW8, listening to Australian-style West Coast jazz/funk. I want to think of the plaster walls, the Art Deco accents, this tiny house on the side of a hill, the apartment in Petersburg, how July 2006 was the first time I left the country and the first time I saw No BS!

I don’t know what the next 365 days hold, but I’m looking forward to them.

Journey of 1,000 miles

Before LSW5 crashed back in late 2013, I left myself a note in Chapter 4 to mark where I was in what I was calling the final revision. Since 2½ years have passed since disaster struck, I’ve decided to go back to Chapter 1 and do it all over again.

Chapter 1 of 27. More than 200 pages in 12-point Courier New with 1-inch margins. About 83,000 words total. A coffee mug with bourbon and one ice cube.

I guess this isn’t exactly Draft 12 anymore. It’s time for lucky Draft 13.

I’m ready to write.

EIGHT

I got a surprise birthday present: a new laptop.

Per my naming convention, it’s LSW8.

There’s still a lot to get used to. Windows 8 is odd, and I’ve already had it with the touch pad. Thankfully, I had a mouse I could plug in (but it has a wonky left button, and apparently, the touch pad isn’t disabling without a fight. I also need a proper media player. Apparently, both Windows Media Player and Winamp are dead. I guess I could install iTunes? I don’t know. I haven’t even had this thing 12 hours.

Long story short, a lot has changed in the world of Microsoft since I last had a PC back in like November 2013, so I’m a little lost

I mean, I used to have a lot of programs on my desktop, and I did I lot of things that didn’t require a browser that I either had to do in the Chrome browser or not at all.

The best thing is that I have Word again so I can get back into finalizing Brown River Blues. Being away from that text for the nearly two years has been rough. But at least it gave me time to ruminate on some points and look at it with a fresh eye.

Here’s hoping EIGHT lasts longer than the previous seven.

The battery is amazing so far, so that’s a start.