Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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My precious

O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed
That my own soul has to itself decreed.

— John Keats, Sleep and Poetry

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Tom Disch, and ran across this quote, about his early days in NYC, writing fiction while supporting himself with odd jobs:

Disch described his personal transformation from dilettante to "someone who knows what he wants to do and is so busy doing it that he doesn't have much time for anything else."

I know that feeling. Med school was like that. Intense, exciting, ever fascinating, and although it might not seem it from the outside, pleasurable.

I don't imagine I'll ever experience that again.


I've been wanting for a while to take a block of time — not ten years — and plunge more deeply into fiction, both reading and writing. Eat, sleep, work at my salaried occupation, pay the bills, read, write, and that's about all.

I've been following the novel_in_90 thing, from the sidelines. It makes a lot more sense to me than NaNoWriMo. It is possible for the ordinary person to write 750 good words a day for three months, and still hold down a job and a life. It is not reasonable to write 1700 words a day under those circumstances, and expect those words to be anything except mumble. (God-like transhuman beings such as Jay Lake, Tim Pratt, Nancy Kress, and Jack Kerouac excepted. I am not one of those.)

750 words a day is more than I have generally done. But last October, when I was finishing my first novel, and knew exactly where I was going and how I was going to get there, I did 20,000 words. So it is possible.


I haven't joined because, well, because I've found that I'm one of those people who can't write without knowing exactly where he is going. If I plunge off the edge without a map, I find I get cliffed out, as backcountry hikers say. That happened to me in three short stories last spring. Halfway through, and oops, this isn't working at all. Discouraging.

After novel_in_90 was announced, I started working on a novel idea I had had on the back burner. After a little over a week, I think I've got a world, a plot, characters, voice. And about 6500 words of background, character sketches, snippets of description and dialog, but no actual story yet.

So I'm starting. Novel by me, No. 2, called $YA_novel_working_title. Although I admire the novel_in_90 group tremendously, I'm not joining. Not posting wordcounts. Neither a mocker nor a mockee be. Rather, I'm declaring myself a sort of fellow traveler, a secret subversive, a Commie under the bed, a Gollum with his nasty flappy feet hiding in the shadows. Cheering you guys on, and doing my own parallel thing.

I will be trying to focus more on reading and writing, to the exclusion of most stuff besides ADLs. Except for the kanji, LJ posts will probably be scarce for the next few months.


meaning: beat, tap, clap

脈拍 == myakuhaku == (noun) pulse, pulsation, pulse stroke
拍手 == hakushu == (noun) clapping hands, applause

Left radical is one of many versions of 'hand'. Right radical is 'white' (白), acting phonetically to express 'beat/tap'. The original meaning of this radical was 'thumbnail', and its use here may have meant something like 'to keep time by tapping with fingernail'. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Clap till hands go white.'

Info from Taka Kanji Database
List of compounds including this character from Risu Dictionary

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