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The State of the Centicorn

Today I walked to work, and at the halfway point, I realized it was a terrible mistake. The air outside today is humid and stifling, and the glare off the Hudson was excruciating. I wore sandals that I thought I’d broken in, but evidently they weren’t finished with me. I could feel the blisters forming with every step. Halfway to work, though, and I couldn’t go back, change my shoes, and then take the PATH – well, I could, but either way I went, it’d be another twenty minutes of heat and torture. So I sucked it up and walked the rest of the way, and I have to say my blistered feet reached heights of pain I didn’t think it possible to obtain. But I bit my teeth and kept walking, and eventually I found myself at work.

This is precisely what’s going on with the FrankenNovel. I’m at the 35k word mark now, and every word has become a fucking torture. I didn’t think, at the beginning of the summer, I didn’t remember what it would be like to try to write in this weather, in my sticky dark apartment with the failing AC and half-dead fridge and the bugs flopping about everywhere. I usually save the big projects for fall and winter, when it’s cool at night and I can turn on a light without being fearful of sending the thermostat up another couple of degrees, when it’s cool enough that I can think, instead of sliding off into some kind of feverish fugue state by 8pm. But, I started this fucking novel and I’m halfway there. And I’m going to suck it up and grit my teeth and ignore the bugs and heat and finish this thing.

And then I am going to sell this fucking novel if it kills me, because if I don’t, this apartment, this life, most certainly will.


Originally published at Livia Llewellyn.

Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.

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