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the most boring people in the world are writing books

Jericho Town Library

I swore I was only going to write here again when I explained how the town finally got out of the lake, but it’s there still and I had a few things to say.

First, yeah wow, I’m a little surprised that it takes this long to correct an obvious map error, but that’s sort of the good news/bad news about doing your business in the cloud yes? Google Maps is great because it’s got a ton of data and delivers it to people with very little human interaction needed. Downside being when you need a human it’s pretty much impossible to get one.

I took a day off from writing yesterday (I’m ahead with my word count) and drove to Underhill after having lunch with my friend Stephanie in Montpelier. No idea how I missed Underhill before. In fact I’m pretty sure I must have been there before but the maps show no highlighter pen and I can find no record of it. Underhill is sort of a co-town with Jericho. They even have a shared website: Two Towns Online. The back road I wanted to take was under construction, a casualty of the weird snow we got this week, so I got to take fairly normal roads to get up there. And there was snow! I stopped at the local library [not the one in the photo] and did a little email checking. Once I got home I was curious about the funky looking building that also said library on it. Of course, there’s a web page explaining it.

I’ve installed keylogging software on my machine because I’m convinced that whatever amount of words I’m typing for the book, I’m doubling it with email, blog posts, chatting and whatnot. I wanted to check if that was actually true. I realize this makes me a crazy person. I will report back with my findings.

The bigger deal is just that as much as I’m enjoying writing this book, watching the word count increase, getting my thoughts on paper, I’m also somehat blasé about it, sometimes to the point of being downright yawningly bored. I can’t explain to people what it’s about without apologizing and even though it’s all I think about lately, I feel like I have nothing to talk about when I chat with friends. “Still writing the book.” I say. “Great.” they say. And then we talk about the weather or something interesting. I realize that this is normal. I felt this way about my thesis. I’m sure I will miss these days, when the book wasn’t a set of words on a page but a set of ideas in my head. Fixing things to paper gives them a terrible finality that makes me somewhat nervous.

I look forward to having something else to talk about, just a month or two left. And in the meantime, I read quotations from the other Jessamyn West, who had been writing much longer than I have.

Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers having had their hell on earth, will escape punishment hereafter.”

4 Comments

  1. Kate M. wrote:

    I live in Montreal (we’ve met) and find that Google Maps is prone to errors – it’s not just your town. I’ve seen displaced features of all kinds as well as some odd anachronisms. I find it mind-boggling how much data they must be juggling, especially with Streetview, and figure it’ll just take some time to iron out human errors in the database. Enjoy the lake while you can :)

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 13:05 | Permalink
  2. Kristen F wrote:

    Did you see the NYTimes magazine article today on how people are collecting data on themselves? Makes keylogging sound quite normal. You are not alone. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/magazine/02self-measurement-t.html?ref=magazine

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 21:05 | Permalink
  3. Amy Ranger wrote:

    ISTR that writing can be so hard at times that some have compared it to opening a vein. Certainly how I feel much of the time.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 05:30 | Permalink
  4. I was delighted that Google Maps couldn’t find my house for several years — it auto-corrected from the dirt road with five houses on it (where I live) to the busiest street on Martha’s Vineyard–same street name–4 miles away. And likewise conversely: I would sometimes find a confused tourist following a GPS trying to figure out where the Sweet Life Cafe was amid the trees.

    Alas, the Overmind has discovered its error, and I’m now as findable as anybody else on earth — more’s the pity.

    Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 06:24 | Permalink

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