Sunday, September 26, 2010

After These Messages, We'll Be Right Back

I am wearing my favorite pajamas and sitting in an empty house with my laptop on my lap and a cup of coffee at my elbow. I'm three episodes in the sixth season of Grey's Anatomy and a little over a hundred pages into Freedom. We're in week four of this year's homeschooling--it's multiplication tables and the Crusades at the moment--and my son's preschool class is working its way through shapes and colors. Tomorrow is brown oval day; he's bringing a potato and a dead leaf from our magnolia tree.

My manuscript is open to page 265 of 348 (and counting). I'm revising, rewriting, drafting new bits, implementing a number of edits my editor has requested. Tidying things up a bit. I had hoped to be ready to send it to her by October 1.

October 1 is five days away.

What I want to do is blog. I want to talk about Steve Almond's quote, about how we can/can't convert the non-reading sector of our population and whether or not we should try. (Thank you, btw, to those who commented on the matter here and on FB.)

I want to share with you this wonderful, wonderful post on narrative momentum from Bruce Black who blogs over a wordswimmer. I've been wanting to share this with you for weeks. Sigh.

I want to talk about Richard Yates and Gesture School (as in how to make your characters do more than drink coffee) and I want to share with you what I learned from Antonya Nelson's talk this year at Tin House, and I have more coming from Steve Almond and I want to talk setting as a means to jump start or merely suggest conflict and I want to talk about luck and writing and why writers should be very careful when it comes to throwing midgets off the train and whether or not it's okay for me to write about the place where I live, even though it's not my place--I didn't grow up here--and to ponder the use of the word desultory--is it me or are writers using that particular word too often?

I want to talk about what Robert Olen Butler calls "writing from the white hot center," and a friend of mine who recently, brilliantly, accomplished such a feat here.

But, more than anything, more than a full-fat latte and office supply shopping and sleep, I want to finish my edits.

So today is a non-blogging day. I'm sure you understand.

PS. Go write.


Jessie Carty said...

Love this post, Susan! I have so many things I "want" to do and that I "need" to do but I'm not sure I understand the definitions of those words anymore!

Tracy Crow said...

Hey, Susan -- I know just how you feel! I'm editing my memoir for my editor, editing 30+ newspaper articles for the college newspaper, editing articles for the online college newspaper, providing feedback on 12 poems for tomorrow's Intro class workshop, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Even getting up at 5 a.m. isn't early enough to get all this done. If only I didn't have to sleep. :)

Susan Woodring said...

Tracy, Oh, but then, sleep is so, so wonderful. I'd rather do away with some of the other so-called necessities: hosing off the kitchen floor, dashing through the grocery-store tossing bits of this and that into the cart, turning those bits of this and that into actual meals...

Good luck with your many projects!!

Jessie, yes, want versus need. If only I could watch Grey's Anatomy all day and plug my laptop directly into my brain, let the editing go on without interrupting my McDreamy time...

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