I did it! I read 92% of Moby Dick today.
The awesome part of it is that I read the last sixty percent in the last six hours of the day. It's really lovely to be able to sit down, have an estimate of how long the reading should take, and then have to work at it. It's really easy to say you have three hours to finish so-and-so book. It's completely different when you know you are able to finish so-and-so book in three hours.
So today was a really, really productive day. I finished Chapter 2 of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, talked to some people on the writing chat, told the young woman we're meeting in South Africa where the hotel is, checked FaceBook, checked e-mail, bored myself quite a lot until 11… ate breakfast (French toast and lemon tea), and then started reading Moby Dick at 12.
By 6:01pm I'd only gotten through 31% of the book. The deadline for Moby Dick is at 12am on the 1st of June. It counts for a challenge in my reading group, and while I said I was going to read it I was a tad bit lazy and didn't exactly apply myself to it. So at 6 I calculated the number of pages I'd have to read to finish by 12am. And I started reading. By 7:30 or so I was ahead of schedule, so I went to dinner. At 8:45 I was about 20 minutes behind schedule, so I took a very quick shower, recalculated, and started reading again.
And, thanks to the fact that 1% of the book is random whaling quotes, and thanks to the fact that Ishmael goes on and on and on about nothing of really important interest to the story, I finished at 11:43pm.
The good thing about all this is that I finished Moby Dick, and I now know without a doubt about how many iPod pages I can read in three hours— about 500. (So from 200-300 printed pages). Which is going to help quite a lot in June, when I'll be reading for the reading group's toppler.
In about 3 minutes it's going to be June 1st, but I'm going to go to sleep, set the alarm for 7, and then wake up and start writing. I have no idea how the book's going to start… and I have no idea how it's going to end, but I know at least five scenes from the middle, I've got a semi-coherent story line… and I know that Emeli, the main character, is going to turn from a spoiled brat into a pretty independent young woman.
While there's lots of big changes coming up in our lives in the next few weeks (we're changing continents! A great deal of culture! Religion, to be certain!), there will definitely be posts full of writing information. Don't worry! This is only a June, August, and November occurence!