The Swimmer is in Writer Mode. You know, hunched over keyboard, coffee cup cooling off in left field, breaks for chocolate and sleep.
Here in Seraya Barat, I also have Al Jazeera TV blaring off in the next room. Al Jazeera refreshingly does not believe in sound bytes. The network goes into great depth on each story. When the news gets too depressing (usually it's amazingly informative, with plenty of air time to satirical bloggers and hardworking writers and bushbashers of all kinds), I change to something mindless like a tour of Madonna's Castillo del Lago house, apparently worthy of a half hour show on the Discovery Travel & Living Channel. And the other thing I get are tropical storms outside, interrupted by breezes and the sound of crashing surf.
But, yeah, I'm trying to finish that novel. You know, the one I've been using as an excuse for the last 3 years?
"I can't go to the movies, I'm doing that novel."
"I can't go snorkeling, I'm on a tear with the novel right now."
"Haven't picked up a paintbrush since the novel started."
But having been at the book fest in Honkers, seeing all my old pals, I am inspired to finish it at last. I actually qualify, with my HK permanent residency, for a shot at the new Man Booker Asia Prize, so I will enter it electronically in a few days' time. My goal is to make the long list, but I don't mind winning.
So THAT's why I don't talk to anybody, don't post anything, don't go snorkeling.