05 November 2010

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

A preface: today I went hiking in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever taken.  We made our way first to a waterfall and then further up to an outcropping that looked down on the series of bowls that led to the waterfall.  It was absolutely stunning.

I find travelling to be one of the most inspirational activities I can engage in.  Even if I'm travelling for work, I feel refreshed and energized being in a new place, and it pays off in much more energy for writing.  Though the practical part of me says to save the money I'll be making working on this trip, the writer in me wants to blow that money on a trip somewhere to write more!

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So, yesterday I finished The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second in Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide series.  Like its predecessor, it was fully of witty humor, cooky characters, and all-too-true parody of science fiction.  If anything, this one delved slightly more into metaphysics than its predecessor.

At one point, two of the main characters meet the man who runs the universe - a senile old man that lives with a cat and has serious problems with existential problems, such as whether the universe outside his door exists.  It was a terrific scene.

Another part of the book has the other two main characters crash-landing on prehistoric earth.  What I found most interesting about this part was what one of them says about the nature of time, at least in the universe of the Guide: history is like a jigsaw puzzle, it all fits together, and it cannot be changed.  I certainly cannot venture any guess as to whether this is true in real life or not, but it certainly is interesting to ponder.

I also greatly enjoyed the visual imagery of Milliways, the titular restaurant at the end of the universe, which exists in a temporal flux that constantly shifts back and forth over the moment of universal destruction.  The cow that comes over and asks how you want it to cook itself was rather bizarre and reminds me why I try not to think about where my meat comes from - it's too tasty for me to give up!

I embarked on the beginning of Life, the Universe, and Everything today, and will hopefully finish it in the next day or two.

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Books: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe finished, starting Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Bottles: None since Wednesday.

Writing: Worked a great deal on the novella.  Wrote two thousand words, including the sex scene, which turned out nicely (I think).  It ended up being evocative rather than descriptive, and I think that suited it well.  I also then went on to write the scene where the main character is tortured (including waterboarded) and finally breaks under the torture, which is one of the most intense things I have ever written, and I hope it comes across well - it certainly made me feel as I was writing it.  I was able to wrap up chapter two and start on chapter three.  I also went through and did a bit of housekeeping, marking dates for chapters so I could begin forming a coherent calendar.

Guitar: n/a