Tyop line: actually listening, not just herring.
As if I would ever speak dismissively of herring, even in a fictional character's voice!
I skipped the part of the mid-book where I don't know what to do next and it's all kind of messy and it drags on forever and won't this book ever go somewhere? This is a very good thing to skip, if you can manage it. I hope to skip it next book, too, actually.
What my brain has decided to give me instead is the idea-storm that comes before the last burst of brain-eating. Any minute now the last third of this novel is going to hunker down and make breakfast out of most of my grey matter. And before that happens, the brain is throwing out ideas like crazy -- maybe attempted defense from the brain-eating process, maybe inspiration from the burst of work to come. Hard to say.
But the neat part is that many of these ideas are things I've wanted to do for awhile now, and they've fallen together, and I think they'll stay fallen together until after the book draft is done some weeks from now. This is good. They are disproportionately SF short stories, and I could use a few more of those.
The thing is, there are things you want to do, and then there are things you want to have done, and then there are things you want someone to have done. I've been wanting someone to do some of a particular type of SF short story. But it's very hard to motivate oneself to things someone ought to do, even with one's childhood pastor's voice in one's head empowering one just when one didn't really want to be empowered. ("Someone ought to do it? Square your shoulders, lift your chin, and say, 'Hey! I'm someone!'") This is the source of a lot of house chores not getting done in a lot of houses: "Oh, someone ought to do the dishes. Hmm, someone ought to vacuum the stairs." And when something someone ought to do competes with something I ought to do and something I want to do -- well, "someone" loses, more often than not. But now! Now there are SF stories I want to write, in modes in which I want someone to have written! Fortuitous coincidence! Happy day!
I know there are people who have careers as writers but never actually want to write. They want to have written. I have a great deal of respect for these people's self-discipline. Sometimes I want to have written, but mostly I want to write. This is very useful. Writing can be hard, but having written has all the hard of writing built into it plus some extra hard all its own.
So having scribbled notes for one entirely new YA novel and two short stories, onwards, onwards, back to the book. Well, to Byerly's. But then back to the book. Go book.