There's little that's more horrible than someone else going on this great vacation and coming back with a buncha photos and a lecture about this beach and that fishing spot and lookit all those people on the golf course — and your head tilts right back off as you fall asleep.
Which is why I've been begging whatever deity that might be listening: please don't let The New Golden Age turn into a boring vacation travelogue. Please. That was a big part of why I took what was originally going to be this monster epic story that could easily have run to 250,000 words or more and filleted it down to less than half that. Somewhere in my Mess of Stuff there's a pre-treatment outline (just a bunch of scribbles, really), and I stumbled back across it not too long ago and read with horror that my original idea had been to stretch the action across not one but three separate conventions over the course of a year.
Travelogue. Vacation pictures. Bor-ring. Especially boring to the people who weren't there for any of it, who were never there for any of it — and c'mon, the whole idea is to get people who were never there to read this, so why shoot myself in the feet and wait around for gangrene to set in on top of it?
Face it (the Author told himself), the whole thing's not even really about the conventioneering experience per se; that's just the environment, the backdrop, the arena for where people link up with each other and find a little bit of community that they don't have my default out there in the rest of the world. That's the real brain / spleen / internal organ mass pumping away under it all in there: we go do these things to feel that much more connected to others. A do-it-yourself sense of community for a generation and a society that seems to be turning up its nose as the very concept of same, which is either a great thing or scary as all shivering get-out the more you think about it.
Oh, and: a possible title change. I've honestly never liked the title all that much, and I have no gift for good, catchy titles; if I did, I probably would be in marketing. I mentioned The Four-Day Weekend as another possible title, to a friend of mine, and he commanded me to bear it in mind as a strong possibility. It, too, suffers from the "it's pretty good but could be better" disease.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind