The Tenth Day

Tuesday morning’s post was, shall we say, a little premature. At the time I thought I was in for an easy day and an early out. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

There was a slow morning, then I helped interview a couple of people, and then there was a meeting about a new project.

And then the used food hit the ventilation; a system that’s been in production for a while had developed a problem, and the people who’d developed it are no longer with us. I got drafted.

It seems I am now the resident Developer Without Portfolio—able to move stealthily from project to project, jump tall buildings in a single bound, etc.

Well, I fixed the problem. Problems, actually—there were three, it turned out. It meant a working day of eleven and a half hours, but considering that I had to pull apart a web application that I’d never been involved with and knew nothing about (I don’t even know what it’s for, really, even now), dig into its guts and figure out what was suddenly wrong with it, I don’t consider that half bad.

On top of the work I’d done at the weekend, by Tuesday night I’d worked nine days with a few hours on Sunday afternoon as the only break.

Yesterday morning, which was Wednesday, I was ready to get back to editing work on Chapter 10 of Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia. Except that I wasn’t, really. I worked on it for an hour or so, then like a racehorse that’s decided it’s had enough, my brain started refusing fences. After nine days of brain-busting, I needed a proper rest. The Tenth Day ended up being a well-deserved day of rest.

One thing I’ve learned: when editing, if I reach a point where I know I should be able to see what’s needed, but I simply can’t, it’s time to stop. If I push it, all that happens is that I have to give up on it anyway, then when I start again the next day, it’s looking back at me with red eyes and yellow fangs, daring me to grapple.

So I stopped. I saved what I’d done, backed it up, then stretched out on the sofa with a coffee and watched The Ninth Gate, then Total Recall.

A night’s sleep, and this morning I got back to work, and things are much, much better. Chapter 10 is done, gentle reader, and I’m eight pages into Chapter 11 (which is forty pages long, so there’s a way to go yet).

I have four more days after today before I have to go back to the day job, so I’m going to take it easy; get the work done, but not push so hard that I burn out. Four hours a day, maybe five, then stop. And for now, for today, I’ve stopped.

And it’s time to stop blogging, too. I need a coffee, and another movie.

Until next time . . .

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