I missed two days. That was it, and then i got the prescription refilled. But I’m dealing with a darkness now, week and a half maybe, maybe longer, hard to say when these things start. You can’t tell if it’s just a bad mood or a poor sleep or what. But then it doesn’t go away.

So you try to keep busy. Wedding stuff, selling stuff on Craigslist to pay for stuff I already bought. Cleaning. Surprise projects like for instance this couch cushion still smells like cat urine so let’s run it under the hose for a while with some laundry detergent, maybe that’ll work. End of the day you have to pause because you have to, and it’s still there, and you lose an hour staring at a computer screen or the back of your eyelids, either way promising yourself that if you just get started you’ll feel better. Just do it. Just go.

On top of that I’ve a sudden return of my old friend penetrating heartburn of death, haven’t let him in yet but he’s knocking on the door and last night got his fingers through the cracks in the window, so that’s another pill I’ve got to take for a couple weeks, probs.

My absolute most burning desire right now is to work on the novel. I’ve been waiting like 180 pages to write Sally in and I thought I was finally at her section but it turns out I’m not, I just realized, I’m trying to combine her first section with her parents’, probably because I wrote it that way in the prewriting on like page 50 of the prewriting (which is now on page 268) so this was one of those early-on sections that made an immediate impact and stuck and I keep waiting for it to show up in the draft but as it turns out I’m still not there yet, I’ve been stuck on this chapter for about two months now mainly because i haven’t been working on it but I haven’t been working on it because I’m stuck and I think I’m stuck because Sally doesn’t actually get to come in yet. It might even be part three before she gets a full treatment, and she’s the proverbial rug that really ties the room together.

Strange, and probably the first thing I’d hear from an editor, assuming an editor would actually read the whole thing (‘Why the hell don’t we see Sally until page 400?’) but what’re you gonna do. 

Sally Nguyen, you fucking badass, you will own this book when I finally let you into it.

In the meantime I’m dealing in the past, so despite growing impatient myself with Sally’s delayed entrance, I’ve got to put it off while her parents take the stage, and then possibly Vinnie-Frank’s parents, and then Arthur, Marissa’s dad who kidnapped her as a baby, and then probably Rex’s parents, and I’ve sort of already covered Mookie’s parents and I haven’t written too much on Gil’s folks but they don’t seem that relevant to me, although Gil and his brother Lucas might require some attention, but so probably it’ll be Mookie and Gil as kids at basketball camp, and Denise has been sitting out this whole section so I’ll have to look into that because readers are bound to forget about her if that goes on too long, but this is a parents/past section and we’ve covered that with her and she doesn’t come back into the fray again until she gets out of jail and meets Mookie and Gil with Marissa and something happens I haven’t decided on yet but I’m fairly certain she’s important in that scene. Not so much because she has this big important past, but because of who she is. So, okay, Denise I guess you’re sitting out the history section too, hopefully you made a big enough impact in chapter 7 that people will recognize you like 15 chapters later.

This is nice. This is fun. Calming, even. I may be able to sleep after this.

And before I get out of the history section I feel like Rex has to get firmly into character, which was hinted at in chapter twelve. That’s probably chapter 18, which I was going to make it chapter 19 and have an official Sally chapter in 17 but you know what that’s not happening, we’ll have the intermission break with the third robot and Mookie and Vinnie-Frank enlightening us all, and then Sally gets the opening to section three, it’ll probably take fifty pages but you know what, she’s waited this long, she’s earned it.

My current state is not a full-on zero dark. I’m hovering around a kind of brownish orange, like a murky fruit cocktail that looks more healthy than tasty, except it’s in a dark room, sitting on a pedestal beneath the spotlight of a twenty-watt bulb on its last legs. And churning, as if something is swimming in it, like a small frog, except there is no frog it’s just doing it of its own accord. A small frog would actually be pretty awesome.

I put up the stars Gretchen got me for my birthday like six months ago, and it’s very satisfying gazing up into my makeshift galaxy. I’m hoping it’ll help me sleep. Occasionally it can have the opposite effect. Instead of relaxing under the watch of the infinite, I get caught up in the imperfections, seeing too much light over here, over there, too much dark.

I hope this doesn’t prove itself another long heartburn night. It very well might. The pressure is building.

All I want to do is close my eyes and guide my characters home.

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