The Loneliest Number

Wow, when you don’t blog for five days, reader numbers plummet! Sorry about that, folks. I’ve been submerged in writing the Tower novel, which has taken a lot of energy away from this blog. As of right now, the word count stands at 83,700 words; I know that this isn’t very interesting for some of you, but it’s an important motivator for me. When people still used typewriters, they could mark their progress through the increasing size of the stack of papers next to them, but in the absence of that paper pile, progress instead is marked by the mounting word count.

Anyway, another reason I haven’t blogged is that Janet, Anya, and Janet’s parents left on Friday morning to visit family in Hong Kong. I didn’t really spend as much time with them as I should have before they left because of the novel-writing (I was feeling a bit reclusive as well), and after they took off on their flight, I was filled with profound sadness and loneliness. I couldn’t go back home all day because I didn’t want to face the empty apartment, so I took the train from the airport all the way to Orchard Road, and spent the afternoon wandering around. I picked up a few books at Kinokuniya (The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora GossThe Hall of the Singing Caryatids by Victor Pelevin, and No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems by Liu Xiaobo), then saw a matinee of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (I’d seen it once already with my buddy Steven, but wanted to catch it one more time in the theatre; it was even better the second time).

Yesterday, things were even worse, and I didn’t even leave the apartment except to get food. I honestly tried to be productive, but every time I sat down at the laptop I just felt depressed. So I did nothing but watch TV and movies all day, and felt like a complete waste afterward.

This morning, I tried to get some work done at home, but again was too distracted by the absence of my ladies. When they were still here, I felt like I needed solitude to get writing done, but paradoxically, once I had that solitude, I couldn’t work. Turns out I’m not the only one; my pals Matthew Berryman and Paolo Bacigalupi have had similar experiences (the thread starts at the bottom of the image):

So finally, in the afternoon, I threw on some clothes and made myself leave the flat and take the bus down to the nearest café at the Singapore Post Centre. It was extremely crowded, but I managed to find a seat, order a coffee, and get to work. Two and a half hours and 1500 words later, and I was done for the day, and feeling much better about myself. The lonely blues are still there, but getting some writing done today really helped to ameliorate them. Here’s hoping I can stay productive until Janet and Anya get back on Thursday night.

(In terms of blog productivity, I think I need to be a bit more realistic about my goals; instead of trying to blog every day, I’ll pare things back to two or three times a week. That way, if I’m able to do more than that, bonus! Oh, and I’m still working on that Amazon entry; it’s coming up next.)

To top off this post, here’s Aimee Man singing “One (Is the Loneliest Number)”* (my favorite rendition of this song):

* This song was on the soundtrack for the film Magnolia, and was the best thing to come out of that movie, which was a pretentious waste time and made me loathe Tom Cruise more than I already did.


Filed under Parenthood, Writing

2 responses to “The Loneliest Number

  1. If it makes you feel any better, you’ve made me realize how lucky I am. When my family leaves for any length of time, I almost feel guilty about treasuring the quiet, the lack of demands, the ability to put one task aside half-finished and come back to everything just where I left it. But I’m always thrilled to see them when They get back.

    • Yep, same here. I feel like I shouldn’t treasure the time to myself because I should be helping with Anya. But then afterward, I try to take her for as long as I can so Janet can also get some work done. Hopefully it helps toward balancing things out.

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