On Why I Suck and Don’t Suck at 24 Hr Marathons

The first reason I suck at 24 hr Marathons is because I get 7 hours of sleep a day. I go to sleep about 11PM and wake every morning at 6am. If I don’t do this, my eating and work schedule is thrown out of narrative and I get cranky.

The second reason is that I write in seclusion and have built a space for this writing. It doesn’t mean the writing is any good, but it is an issue of comfort zones. Point: I can’t write in hotel rooms, conference halls, or outside.

The third reason is that my diet is heavily controlled. Not because I might die because I eat a slice of pizza but because I like routines and don’t like to think about what to eat. I don;t like to drag around hummus jars.

The fourth reason I suck at marathons is that I hate people. Just kidding.

The first reason I really don’t suck at marathons is that I generated crap out of it which isn’t such a bad thing, but now that I think about it, I can reflect upon what I did do, work on it some more and keep working on it, as I solved some real problems and had the time to work on them at the marathon. 24 hours of work doesn’t translate into 24 hours of work as the eyes begin to flame out after 14 hours of screen time. I really had to squint, but, interestingly, I didn’t solve the real problems until 3:30 AM, when I started to drag and say, “Oh my god it’s only 3:30.” It was at this time that I should have gone into the new media lab and cranked up HL2 on the PS3 system and chilled some. Next year I’ll be better prepared.

I know now how Wally’s wife dies. I now know the structure of the novel’s narrative. Call and response. But what I still don’t know what really gets Wally running across the country, as this is a nuanced question, not really a brute force problem, although . . . now that I think about it, he could do something that forces the question, but . . .

I really respect all the students and other participants for toughing things out and generating very interesting work. Susan Gibb is a great writing companion. Abbot’s intellectual energy is quite a thing to behold. I still think he’s a genius at improve. And I hope Trent solved his issues with character, POV, and narrative.

PS: I’ve gotten into the habit of hitting the ; key instead of the ‘ key.