I have never been so completely drained.
I’m really sorry to be harping on this. This should not be the blog of “Poor Sad KT is Poor and Sad.” Likewise, I don’t want my relationships with the people around me to devolve into “Poor Sad KT.” That gets old fast, and it’s no fun for anyone, me included.
But this is a blog about writing. And recent events are affecting my writing.
The first week after my father’s death I didn’t feel much of anything. I made funeral arrangements, I went to work, and I saw friends, all under this weird anaesthetized cloud that had enough spikes of sadness to convince me that I had passed through the initial shock.
In retrospect, I don’t think I had.
Now that Christmas is over, it’s starting to feel more real. I still haven’t cried very much, and I’ve barely cried in front of other people, but the pain feels weightier, deeper, sharper.
As I secretly suspected I might, I finished Chapter 18 of Hapax-the-Podcast on time. Chapter 19 is ready to go live on Sunday.
But when it comes to The Next One rewrites…my fingers feel too heavy. I can’t focus long enough to sit down and examine, dissect, and stitch together each chapter. Well, sometimes I can once I actually sit at the keyboard, but this immense apathy makes it difficult to get there. Editing the last two episodes of Hapax-the-Podcast required very little thought on my part. They were pretty much done; I was just slotting new narration in.
TNO needs me to be creative. I’m not just doing line edits here; I’m tossing whole scenes and chapters, and writing new ones from scratch. Plus, family dynamics play a huge part in this story. How can I write a family going to pieces when my own is going through this?
I can do it because I am a writer, dammit. I can do it because I remember my dad’s face at both launches for Hapax. I am so incredibly tired (the fact that my MC and I both suffer nightmares is not necessarily a coincidence), and yes, my pace will probably be slower for a little while…
But the basic rules haven’t changed. Bottom in chair. Breathe. Page by page, line by line, and word by word.
It’s accepting that the grief will be here for a while, and renegotiating my life and writing around this new reality. Honestly, there are no easy answers. I’m really just trying to make myself feel better. But my dad had a vague idea of what TNO is about—and apparently, that vague idea was enough to make him gush all the way to his final game.
And that is a motive to combat the apathy.