Friday, August 13, 2010

Fight to the Death (with editing)


Well, I hope not.
I’m reminded of a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago. It’s actually here: Roller Coaster Ride with the Devil at A. J. and Charli Bite Back.
A. J. didn’t know it at the time, but she was speaking to me loud and clear. She wrote about the little voice of doubt that lives in every writer’s head. I wonder if Stephen King as a little voice like that. Pfft, he has lots of voices inside his head. Has to. Anyway, she wrote (and I’m paraphrasing here) the voice of doubt sits on her shoulder and says, “Don’t quit your day job.” She looks back at it and says “I’m over-educated and unemployed. This is my job.”
I’ve had, wait, let me do the math. Nothing plus nothing equals, um, nothing. Let’s see, that brings us up to… right, a total of zero job interviews this month. In fact, not a nibble since I didn’t get that title clerk job I should’ve been a shoo-in for (no skin off my teeth, it was only a million miles away from my house). I have a total of one scheduled for this upcoming week, so that should be exciting. Right now sleeping weird hours, doing revisions and a crit here and there is my job. The pay is lousy, let me tell you.
Chapter 12. I’m reminded of why I hate editing. It leads to revisions. Due to unforeseeable changes in the plot, chapters 10, 11 and 12 are very, very, very different from the originals. Bang head… right about here———> ( ) should do the trick. Awww, an interactive blog. How fun. It’s 12:30 in the morning, in case you were wondering. No, I’m not sleepy.
I’m writing this blog because I took A. J.’s words to heart. This is my day job. I got up, I did have to clean a trojan (what is wrong with you people, why are you making trojans and viruses and sending them to innocent people’s e-mails? I have better things to do than look up how to get rid of them, pray I’m not going to screw anything up, and sit there while malware programs scan a hundred million files! It found 38, in case you were interested. From one e-mail.) off Husband’s computer. Then I decided to update my MP3 player, so I cleaned off the songs I’m sick of, synced some different ones to the player and finally figured out how to get chapter two—but wait, wasn’t I working on 10, 11 and 12, oh yes, I was, but I had to fix two first—to end.
I sat there and waited for inspiration. It came, grudgingly. Dragged its heels, put up a good fight, but it settled in. I watched Whisper the gerbil frolic in her tank. I listened to two hours worth of music. I forgot to eat. I did have a glass of grapefruit juice and most of a Dr. Pepper. I thought about boiling eggs, but I didn’t want to misuse my time. I wrote my fat little fingers to the bone.
At one point, after I’d re-scanned the malware program, I was staring off into space. Husband asked, “What are you looking at?” I blinked, looked at him and smiled sheepishly. “I was looking at cows. In a field. There was tall grass, about twenty-five cows. They’re mostly red.” The answer to that was “Huh?” I had to explain that Jonah isn’t good at small talk, so I was trying to figure out the dialogue. Let’s cut to 11:00 p. m.
Here’s the heading on the page: TWELVE. The cursor is waiting for me to type. Do it. You know what has to be done. Okay, I know what has to be done. I don’t know how to execute it. I’m not even convinced chapter 11 came off so good. Which as been a major fault in the entire plot of C&C. Some of the chapters just didn’t come off so good. I reread that part about the goat, by the way. When I sit and think about the goat, I think man, a scene with a goat is so corny. But it introduces another character, which used to be pivotal to the plot. And sort of still is, but not as much. Tell you what, right now, today, this second, for the low, low price of $1000 cash, C&C can be your problem. I’ll hand over every file pertaining to the plot and characters the second I see greenbacks or you make a deposit into my account and I can confirm it’s gone through. I tried that once before and had no, that’s right, count ‘em, zero interested parties. Do you really want to disappoint me that way? My stress is the fault of anyone who won’t take this story off my hands.
Oh, right. And then what would I have to complain about? Well… NaNoWriMo is coming up. Don’t think I haven’t been wracking my brain to come up with something for that.
Looking at last summer, I try to remember where I was in August. Had to have been around 50k. I finished the third week of September, that sounds about right. I was sick, I’d stopped eating, I sat around plotting all the time. All I did was drink Dr. Pepper and plot. For real. I was sick as a dog the last two weeks of September. I got the call about the Missouri Literary Festival and was terrified I wouldn’t be able to go to the reading because I couldn’t talk without hacking my head off. The key to success there was to keep a peppermint in my mouth the whole time.
I didn’t like that person. She was scary. Now, here am I with those words etched into my brain about the day job. Seems like a pretty good excuse to sit in front of a computer all day. But thing longer I sit, the faster my brain runs into standby mode. When I’m not revising, I think I should be. When I am, I wish I was writing something else. Sitting down and writing something else. I hate revisions no matter how necessary they are. I’m not sorry I didn’t work on this for… what was it, like six, seven months. I needed to get away from it. I don’t know why I like editing other people’s stuff, but hate my own.

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