Still working on the China story, and an odd thng happened: I suddenly wanted to write it in longhand. I used to work longhand, before computers, and then pay a typist, but the advent of computers meant my typing looked almost normal -- no more topographical maps that were hills and valleys of Liquid Paper. So now I type on a laptop (with one finger -- 600-page novels with one finger), but all at once I'm back to longhand, all of which will later have to be typed in. Why? Who knows?
Writers have strange ways of warming up for writing. Agathie Christie washed dishes; she said having her arms immersed in warm water helped the flow of ideas. Truman Capote went one better, immersing his whole body and writing in the bathtub. Faulkner drank. So this story (to decend from the exalted to the ridiculous) wants to be written sitting up in bed, longhand, on a clipboard so old the corners are soft and frayed like a blanket.