Tag Archives: status update

Nothing Left to Give


Been a quiet week around here (well, not exactly quiet by any stretch, but AI here has been quiet, no doubt), so I wanted to give out an update.

We’ve been doing work around the house for the past month or so — and when I say work, I don’t mean tidying up and deep-cleaning, I mean work — fixing things that should’ve been fixed long ago, tearing into walls to get at pipes, painting, liquid nails-ing anything that’s even the slightest bit loose, and generally turning this place from a depressing pile into a place that looks like it might be a nice place to live.

Because we’re trying to move.

So it’s been daily trips to the Home Depot, a daily devotional of instructional home-improvement youtube videos, the near-constant losing and re-finding of tools (especially screwdrivers: seems like I can only keep track of one for about fifteen minutes before the dark elves spirit it away to some obscure region of the house), and occasional bouts of stress-crying, stress-screaming, and stress-hammering-things-that-don’t-really-need-hammering. From sunup to sundown, we’ve been busting our butts giving this place a makeover, and we have very little left to give.

I could give a list of things that we’ve gotten done, but it would probably depress me, so I will refrain.

Needless to say, all that work hasn’t left time for any writing this week — either on the novel or around here — which bums me out a bit, but at the same time, there were really no two ways about it. With rehearsals on the musical ramping up — the show opens in two weeks — there’s no time for this stuff during the week. So we had to use this week — spring break week! — to get it all done.

So we’re exhausted from working ourselves down to the nub, and frustrated from giving all our time to this old house rather than doing the things we’d actually enjoy doing. On the other hand, there’s a certain satisfaction to knowing that the day was fully utilized, with not a minute wasted on frivolous things. (Well, maybe a minute here and there — we’re not machines, after all. Saw the new Beauty and the Beast while the grandparents were kind enough to babysit the kids for a couple of nights. The Terrible Review in one word? Meh.)

At any rate, Accidentally Inspired didn’t just vanish from the internet; I didn’t suddenly give up, board up the windows, and label this place condemned. There was just– no exaggeration here, and I say it fully cognizant of my usual statements against the very sentiment — literally no time for it.

And for that matter, time will remain short at least until the musical goes up, although going back to work is ironically going to free up more time for me to sneak my daily writing in. Sad thing is, I have tons of stuff I want to write about; the days just aren’t giving me the time. Instead, I’m hurriedly banging this post out on a Sunday morning — a day late, but what can I say — while my wife sleeps in a little bit and we wait for it to warm up outside so we can start on some yard work.

Yard work. Two of the dirtiest words in my lexicon.

Sigh.

Normality will be restored once we are sure what is normal to begin with.

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results. This week? Maybe not so productive.


Hey, That Thing I Wrote Maybe Isn’t Total Crap


The first step in an edit is re-reading the thing you’ve just written. Looking at it with fresh eyes, eyes unlikely to look favorably on the darlings you coddled through the first draft; eyes more likely to attack those darlings at the eyesores they really are. Eyes that don’t give even the first hint of a sharknado how inspired you were feeling when you wrote it, eyes that only see the frayed edges where the stilted narrative is struggling to hold itself in one piece.

Problem is, that’s next to impossible.

But you wade in anyway, because if you don’t, well, then it was all a waste of time, wasn’t it?

I’m trying something a little different on this edit: I’m just reading the story first. Not going through with pencil in hand and notebook at the ready. Not with one eye on the adverb-elimination cheat-sheet on the wall. Not with my spell-checking and grammar-sensitive goggles in place. Just reading.

And maybe it helps that I’ve spent about nine months working on another project? Or that I mentally divorced myself from the original beginning of this particular story right around the time I reached the halfway point? Or that the past few months of drafting have worn me down as surely as desert sandstorms have blasted the face from the Sphinx? Or, maybe, and yeah, this is probably an ocean liner sinking under the weight of wishful thinking, but maybe I’m actually getting better at this drafting thing?

But it’s not that bad.

I mean, it’s raw. And it needs cleaning up. And I’m fast approaching the point where the bridge washed out, where I stopped worrying so much about making sure every little bit fit together and focused instead on telling the story that wanted to be told, that the screaming ego monkey wanted to tell. There’s pain ahead on this journey, no doubt.

But what really jumps out? It’s actually kind of fun to read. I mean, it reads like a book I wouldn’t mind reading. Sure, I know what’s coming and I know what glue fills in the cracks in the facade. But all the same, it feels like I’m just kicking back with a good book. Which is the goal, right? Don’t they say that in therapy? You have to love yourself first, before anybody else can?

So, the edit is starting off swimmingly. The weather is gorgeous — way too gorgeous for February, to be sure, but I guess we ought not to look this gift weather horse in the mouth until it global-warming incinerates us with the hottest summer on record in the coming months. I’m running comfortably and pain-free for the first time in recent memory. And we’ve got a week’s vacation coming up; plenty of time for me to read through the book and start the real work of ripping its guts out and hacking it back together.

Things are looking up.


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