Battling the Chameleon

Photo by The Chameleon Farm of Elwood at Flickr

As I sit at my desk, wondering how March arrived so quickly, I gnash my teeth over 40,000 words still unwritten. I've lost considerable steam, like a machine without ... more steam ... but the prospect of leaving this new story unfinished somehow replenishes the tank. Who needs water when you have blood and sweat to feed into the machine?

Time. Time. Time.

How do you capture it? How do you push aside the obligations and constipations of day-to-day life and seize the hands of the ticking clock? Is it possible to simultaneously feed your bank account and your desires? Can such a two-headed monster be tamed? Does anyone have any Adderall?

I am slowly coming to terms with my unusuality (sidenote: that word tried to auto-correct to sensuality, which is also true, but not relevant/appropriate to share in this post), but also my disturbing ability to squeeze into ill-fitting boxes. Smile more! I like that button-down! Are those new slacks? Have you seen the newest episode of "Game of Thrones"?

I wonder if chameleons feel remorse for blending so seamlessly into the leaves. Maybe it would be less-taxing to say FUCK THE FOREST and show off those dazzling colors. But then you're also likely to be eaten ... quite the conundrum.

Is it better to have lived a full life and die young, or to have sat in front of the TV watching Fox News until you're old and grey and bang your head on the coffee table and bleed out on the living room carpet? I know which one the dog would prefer.

A chameleon's eyes can focus on two distinct objects at the same time, much like an Apache helicopter pilot trains his eyes to move independently in combat. We're not so different, chameleons and fighter pilots and writers. Stay alive, kill some bugs, reproduce. It's quite simple, really.

But then you start writing a book, and 70,000 words drip onto the page like molasses, slowly filling the jar while you tap your toes wondering why the fuck you bought molasses. It's certainly a lot of work to write, but until you've actually finished the story, it feels like you haven't written a thing at all.

Momentum is achieved by mass * velocity. In writer's terms, mass = the words I've already written, and velocity = the consecutive days in which I'm able to write. After the first word is placed on page, the mass is always there, always growing with every new word, but velocity--and of course momentum--is much harder to maintain. I'm not sure what the point of this post is, other than to convince myself to quit bitching and get back to work.

40,000 words to go.