National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month, Day 25

The gun arrived a week ago on Saturday. And it really worked exactly as I hoped it would.

No kiddin’. I don’t know why all those losers are messing around with these weekend writers’ workshops and immersive research jaunts to Djakarta to spend a year working as a dance instructor. Michael Moore was full of crap, as usual: just buy a gun and that’ll be the solution to all of your problems.

At least that’s been my experience. Oh, and if you use it just for the writing and don’t do anything recreational or Death Wish-ey with it, it’s every bit as tax-deductible as a toner cartridge for your printer. Your accountant might argue the point but remember: he’s seen all of your receipts so he knows you have a gun. Clearly you have the upper hand in that discussion.

I picked up the gun on Saturday and got cracking with it right away. Did you know that they don’t include ammo in the box? Boy, that got me steamed. I know, I know…I only bought the gun so that I could look like an author who has one of those profound and complex Rubik’s Cube-type souls that women and literary critics spend decades trying to solve. But remember that I write about technology for a living. Do you think Steve Jobs would ship a gun that wasn’t ready-to-go straight out of the box?

I think not. (It would also ship with a sticker over the trigger guard reading “Please don’t shoot people so that you can take their stuff.”)

That’s why Apple created an entire new industry with the iPod and the music player developed by the Browning Arms Company never went anywhere.

Well, it was just a minor annoyance. Like I said, the gun was indeed precisely what I needed to get cracking on my NaTeUnNoWriMo novel. I opened up my MacBook, scrolled down to where I’d left off and then I took the gun out.

I hefted it in my right hand once or twice.

I took a moment to ponder the nature of the God who, in an ironic jest, gave me the power to heal the world through my art, but also gave me ability to see the cancers and infections of Society in such sharp detail that to stand in opposition to the forces of entropy and chaos seems like a futile and furious gesture.

I took a swig of cherry soda and remembered that I’d meant to add “My Blue Heaven” to my Netflix queue and then I put the gun down next to the keyboard and started writing.

I don’t know if it was the gun or the five-day layoff or the soda, but good heavens…the words just rushed out of me. I’d be typing one sentence and already I had the next three in my head; honestly, the only effort involved was in slowing down the creative flow so that my fingers could keep up!

It was truly one of those Writer’s High moments. Time stopped. My entire environment receded around me. There was no sight, no sound, no sensations of any kind except for what I was seeing and hearing in the world that I was creating.

In fact, I had gotten so wrapped up in the creative flow that I didn’t even notice that everyone else in the Starbucks had nervously filed out around me. According to the police report, I didn’t respond to the store manager’s demand for me to leave and ten minutes later, I didn’t respond to the arresting officer’s demand for me to back away from the weapon and lay flat on the floor with my hands behind my head.

I did feel sort of a stinging sensation in my right thigh, but even that was nothing more than a vague annoyance…and amusingly enough, I actually incorporated it into the story. But the application of 50,000 volts across my nervous system was enough of an annoyance that I decided to take a break from the writing and chose to drop to the floor and start convulsing.

I didn’t get a whole hell of a lot of writing done in prison. But — silver lining, folks — my cellmate was hallucinating pretty bad from some sort of street drug called “Jump” or “Jock” and I got a lot of good stuff. The mattress made from three dozen living, snarling Bob Saget heads, for instance, is too good an idea to waste. It’s just going to be a little tricky to work it into a coming-of-age story set in Tudor England. Maybe I’ll make it three dozen living, snarling Bob Saget heads plus one rational and friendly Dick Cavett head, who explains to the young Duke who Bob Saget is and how the mattress wound up on a riding path on a Greenwich estate.

You know, that’s not a half-bad idea. I bet the head could also come up with a couple of funny anecdotes about Groucho.

So: sorry for the lack of updates over the past ten days. The good news is that when I got my MacBook back with my personal effects, I discovered that Word had auto-saved what I wrote at the Starbucks.

Oh, and the other good news is that I can still afford to buy myself a Wii this month! Boy, when the judge sentenced me to “a $500 fine” I was pretty depressed. But then he said “…or a week in the county lockup” and I knew that my plans to spend the winter playing Super Mario Galaxy are still safe.

Anyone know where I can buy a Wii? Because if I spent a week in stir for nothing, that’d suck.

2 thoughts on “National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month, Day 25”

  1. Welcome back. Glad to see you’re out of prison. ;-) (Hope everything is ok)

    This last post was the best so far! Action-packed with all the acoutrements (or whatever) – guns, tasers, Bob Saget heads. What more can we ask for? Oh, I know! Wheres that darned Leopard book!? (I know I know – it’s at the publisher) I need that book. Did you know that after I installed Leopard I lost my admin rights to my localhost server so I couldn’t access my local databases? That freaked me out. Did find a fix, thankfully, so I’m back up and developing, as it were. Also, iGTD kept spinning and freezing, I finally trashed it. I don’t need to get things done anyway – who needs it?

    See ya Andy.

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