Having Pike constantly buzzing in my ear started to seem normal. He had a tendency to talk to himself, especially when he was nervous or upset about something. He kept his voice low so that most people would not notice even if they were near him, but of course, Nelly’s mic picked up everything he said. It was sensitive enough that I sometimes found myself wondering why my heart was racing, only to realize that I was hearing the faint swish and thump of Pike’s heartbeat and mistaking it for my own. He became a voice in my head and a comfortable one, at that.
So I mostly tuned out what he was saying while I worked on other things, until something sank through my brain and I realized the person he had just introduced himself to had called himself “Lenny.”
Pike’s tone of voice perked up with the same interest I had. “Hey, Lenny, nice to meet you. Do you–Did you know that woman who disappeared from here? Rozamar?” I tensed up. I did not know what they were doing or who might overhear them.
“Yes, I know Roz. She went away, but she’s going to come back some day,” Lenny said. He had a low and wistful voice like someone filled with infinite calm or infinite stupidity.
from Incognito: the Vertical Street
My muse has started to forgive me for the whole word count debacle. I still feel stressed about it because I want to get caught up from those two days of not writing, even if I’m going to keep the same pace from now on. (I realize those two objectives–getting caught up and keeping a reasonable pace–are most likely mutually exclusive.) Why? Because I want the day of the year to match how many scenes I have written. My calendar tells me what day of the year it is and how many remain on any given day. Um. I like this sort of thing.
I do get unreasonably hung up on these ideas of starting and ending things at precisely the right time. Like when I’m going to use a timer for writing sessions, but I won’t even begin if I can’t start right on a formal minute marker, like ten after or something. I experience actual difficulty in functioning because of this need for things to be just so. If nothing else, I have an unhappy tendency to conflate good organization with good fiction. If only I am organized enough, precise enough, perfect enough, the words will all come out perfectly, too. Lack of confirming evidence for this theory has not disabused me of it yet.