Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chicken Ranch report no. 23

Chicken Ranch brass tokenI am very tired today. Drained, even. That's what comes from too many consecutive nights of writing until 1-2 a.m. Which is what I've been putting in, trying to get these last few chapters done so that I can finally complete the first draft of this book that's consumed three years of my life. Amazingly, Chapter 14, which is the current piece under construction, has progressed at a far faster clip any any preceding it. I suppose I was due, what with Chapter 12 taking a month to write and 10 almost as long. And that's not even counting the Chapter 11 not included in any outlines, that I had to invent and write after sections of 10 and 12 insisted they belonged together, not apart.

All in all, Saturday-through-Monday I've written more than 7,000 words, by far the most productive run I've had on this project since the beginning. Those aren't Robert Silverberg numbers, sure (heck, he'd whip out 7K works an hour) but I'm not what you'd call a fast write. Three days, and I've got a nearly complete chapter on my hands. The mind boggles. If I can somehow get my addled, sleep-deprived brain to squeeze out a few hundred good words this evening, I can start on the final chapter, 15, and maybe finish up the entire first draft before the end of the weekend. That would be a Good Thing.

Here's a sample of my production from this latest eruption of literary genius (he said, tongue firmly in cheek):

During the early hours one September morning in 1973, somebody snuck up to Edna Milton’s home and keyed her car.

Following her divorce from John Luke in 1971, Miss Edna’d moved out of the home they shared outside of town. Just a few months before Marvin Zindler began his television broadcasts exposing the Chicken Ranch, she’d placed a down payment on a modest, ranch-style house on South College Street in La Grange. A member of the community and major contributor to local charities for more than two decades, Miss Edna figured she’d earned acceptance enough to live in town.

That acceptance lasted only until unwelcome media attention arrived. Overnight, Miss Edna became a pariah.

“I went to get my car, and somebody keyed it. I didn’t even know the word keyed--I just kept looking at it and looking and it and I thought, ‘Well, somebody’s gone and put some serious scratches on my car,’” she said, anger rising at the memory. “If you get in an accident that’s one thing, but for somebody to come to your home and do that, that’s terrible.”
Words cannot express how ready I am to get this first draft done, once and for all. Yes, revisions still lurk ahead, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it...

Now Playing: Peter Gabriel Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ
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