The words and words of George Hayes

[ Read this in Dutch ]


Three months ago, I wrote the first 1,000 words of a new story, The life and death of George Hayes, earmarked to be critiqued at the next Villa Diodati workshop, full of life and death and nudity and Darwin. Almost three months of no writing at all ensued. Then it was suddenly November, and the start of the next workshop (Nov 26) was worryingly close, the deadline for submitting the story (the 21st) even closer, and the 1,000 words had still not miraculously self-multiplied.

So it was a blessing in only mild disguise when the National Office-Day was canceled, freeing for writing the time I had scheduled for preparing my two lectures.

It was also helpful that the beta of Scrivener was finally released, giving me the coolest possible tool for working on George’s predicament.

So a week ago this Saturday I spent an evening with my top in my lap (if you know what I mean*), adding another 1,200 words to the story.

Then, apparently without any intervening time, today presented itself, with only 2,200 words (an estimated 30%) written and the deadline around the corner. Time to panic! But thanks to my loving and understanding wife, and the complete dissipation of my sons fever, I could spend the entire day writing, and by the time I typed the last words**, the story stood at 8,075.

Had I really pounded out 5,875 words in one sitting? Well, if not, and the words did manage to self-multiply, I do hope for my co-workshoppers’ sakes that they multiplied in a prozaically pleasing fashion…

* And if you don’t—or just feel it’s about the lamest pun you’ve ever seen—just pretend it reads “with my notebook computer in my lap”.

** “In a room with no clock or calendar.”