thanx to pure sophistry for posting this…
Category Archives: writing
As I wrote six months ago, I had finally finished the book. Or thought I had. Some additional changes were suggested that have resulted in vast improvements. So now I’m shopping it around. The rejection emails are starting to mount up, which I am thankful for. At least the agent community has the common decency to respond (well, most of them do). the everyday business community sucks a dead moose when it comes to common courtesy – all you corporate HR creeps take note, we’d rather hear “you suck’ or “are you kidding me?” rather than nothing al all, which is just egotistically rude.
So anyway, while i’m shopping this i’m starting to write some short stories, a format with which i’ve had the least comfort, but i have a couple ideas…now it’s just getting the best characters. my immediate reaction is to drag some secondary characters out of the novel and throw them into odd situations. we’ll see how that pans out. most writing teachers will tell you to write short stories first then tackle the complexities of a novel. Right. Like it’s a surprise I went straight to the novel, bypassing the shorter form.
How well do you deal with the natural end of things? Some are easier than others but, not unlike dying celebrities, these things always seem happen in threes. I’m in that threesome cycle (get your mind out of the gutter and focus, cooper) as three things have, or are about to, draw to a close.
1. On a worldwide scale, of course, Mr. Potter and company. We saw it yesterday and while the film is spectacular, operatic and satisfying on just about every level, walking out of theater is like walking away from your kids having just dropped them off as college freshman, an apt comparison but I won’t expand for those who have not seen the film or read the book. All the kids we’ve watched grow up move on to lead their lives and it leaves a bit of a hole. Tooling around the nets brings another aspect of this affecting an age demographic different from my own. These characters were part of millions of kids childhood experience. For them, letting go of childhood friends can be daunting after spending ten years with them. Kind of like standing in the street watching the moving van make its way down the road.
2. Closer to home, but not entirely unrelated…the book is done. Those who have followed this lame blog over the years know that i’ve been writing this for far too long. The final (I promise) draft is in the hands of my manuscript editor. Now comes the fun part of shopping it around. For my bloggy friends that stepped up to the plate a couple of years ago (yes, it was two years ago) to read the draft as it stood then, you hold a sacred place in the growth of this child – which, btw, has undergone radical surgery since then and, I feel, is much better. Only time will tell if my instincts are on target.
3. I’ve spent the past three days walking the fence and conferring with a very nervous mrs. about leaving my current job. No, I’m not hallucinating that I will instantly become the next Rowling and don’t need to work anymore. Last week was, at a minimum, one of the final nails in the coffin. Where I work is more dysfunctional than a Manson family reunion and I spent two full days fighting with people to do what’s expected of them without me babysitting their asses 24/7. I do not micro-manage. My expectations (and there lies the crux of the biscuit) are that if the tasks are presented clearly that my fellow inmates are adult and responsible enough to finish said tasks and/or ask for help when needed, without me asking every hour how things are going and are there any issues. This is not the case at my loony bin. People hit a brick wall and lie there waiting for someone else to help them up, without saying a word to anyone. I’ve just had enough. The kids are gone, the money is not that important any more, but my sanity is. After 10 years, the chaos just grows worse day after day. I’m not supposed to live like this am I? Needless to say, me and the forces of life have been conversing heavily to come to a rationale and wise solution. Yes, the conventional wisdom is not to leave without something else set up. I don’t know if i can last that long.
“TO SUM IT ALL UP, IF YOU WANT TO WRITE, IF YOU WANT TO CREATE, YOU MUST BE THE MOST SUBLIME FOOL THAT GOD EVER TURNED OUT AND SENT RAMBLING. YOU MUST WRITE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE. YOU MUST WRITE DREADFUL DUMB BOOKS AND GLORIOUS BOOKS, AND LET THEM WRESTLE IN BEAUTIFUL FIGHTS INSIDE YOUR HEAD, VULGAR ONE MOMENT, BRILLIANT THE NEXT. YOU MUST LURK IN LIBRARIES AND CLIMB THE STACKS LIKE LADDERS TO SNIFF BOOKS LIKE PERFUME AND WEAR BOOKS LIKE HATS UPON YOUR CRAZY HEADS. I WISH FOR YOU A WRESTLING MATCH WITH YOUR CREATIVE MUSE THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME. I WISH CRAZINESS AND FOOLISHNESS AND MADNESS UPON YOU. MAY YOU LIVE WITH HYSTERIA, AND OUT OF IT MAKE FINE STORIES—SCIENCE FICTION OR OTHERWISE. WHICH MEANS, MAY YOU BE IN LOVE EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT 20,000 DAYS. AND OUT OF THAT LOVE, REMAKE A WORLD.”
I have come to accept, though not condone, linguistic laziness in the workplace. English can be a brutal language to the foreign tongue (there, their, they’re – bow bough (how could those two possibly sound the same) wind, wind (the same word pronounced two different ways?? Come on…).
I do not accept, however, usage stupidity where it is thoroughly…well…unacceptable. For example, the following paragraph on CNN.com taken from today’s Anita Hill story…
“In a statement to CNN, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas said: “I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.””
I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that CNN employs editors to check these stories prior to publication…perhaps not…