Tag Archives: writers are crazy

The Authorial Short Leash


What happens when you bring your new canine companion home from the pound and take him on his first walk?

That furry little bastard gets the scent of nature in his nostrils and goes wild, that’s what. He feels the breeze of the great outdoors across his fur and he bolts. He tugs you this way and that. Darts into flower beds. Takes off after squirrels and rabbits (man, my neighborhood is lousy with rabbits right now — it’s like Watership Down in suburbia). Scrambles into the weeds to poop. Runs off into more weeds to sniff at some other dog’s poop.

You’re trying to have a nice, leisurely stroll with your own personal man’s best friend, but you’ve got a hellhound yanking your arm this way and that, tangling your legs in the leash, and, depending on the size of the animal, threatening to pull your shoulder right out of its socket. And suddenly, your nice, relaxing walk is nothing like nice and a rough shot away from relaxing.

The only way to reclaim your walk — to get the critter under control and take back the calm you set out for — is to break out the short leash. You take all the slack out of the rope and keep him locked in step right there at your heel. He tries to get ahead of you by a step? You tug him back. He veers off course? Yank. He so much as lifts his head to sniff after a squirrel? Doublebig yank.

The point is not to be cruel, the point is to demonstrate to the animal — which is only operating on the same basic evolutionary programming that’s served its species well for eons (chase, hunt, kill, survive) — that there’s a new game in town. That there is a new master. No longer does he answer the beckoning call of nature, now he answers to the man on the other end of the rope. It is only by the grace of “I” that he’s even outside to begin with.

And slowly, slowly, with the patience of the glacier, the dog begins to learn. The instincts, the darting this way and that, the bolting — they curb and decline. Then you can let the slack out a bit. Allow him to sniff at the root of that tree. Let him lock in on that bunny scampering across the neighbor’s yard. Only now, he’s not just doing it — he’s checking with you first. He knows where his food comes from. He knows that the walk through nature is conducted on your terms.

You break him on the short leash so you can break out the long leash again later.

That guy (or gal!) who wrote the first draft of your novel? He’s the rescue dog that’s never breathed the free air. Writing the draft was his fly-the-coop moment: he got into the neighbor’s rose bushes with his deviation into needless character development. He chased squirrels into trees with those bizarre plot turns. He went shoving his nose up another dog’s butt with that trope he borrowed from that wicked sci-fi novel he was reading at the time. He shat on the sidewalk when he just stopped writing that one character two-thirds of the way into the story.

dogmeme

Editing time is time to break out the short leash. Correct those errors your drafting self makes the moment he starts to make them. Can’t let these things fester, or they’ll keep pulling your arm out of the socket. Nip it in the bud now and he’ll get the message quicker.

Of course, we can’t cut out all of that bad behavior — after all, it’s when the story does unexpected things, when it goes off into the weeds and comes back with a dead rabbit in its jaws, that we enjoy story the most. But our story can’t be one long, unleashed romp through the neighborhood. Much as we love the unbridled id that our authorial selves bring to the table, we also need the structure that only the editorial self can provide.

So by all means, take your inner author out for a walk. But keep that thing leashed up. That way, when you finally do let him loose, he’ll know it matters.

dogmeme3

And here’s one more dog meme, just because they’re awesome.

dogmeme2

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.

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We Must Be Crazy


It struck me this morning, watching my breath rise in wispy, ghostlike puffs as I was wrapped in a long-sleeved insulated shirt and a vibrant insulated hoodie (I call this color please-don’t-hit-me-with-your-car-orange), to say nothing of the track pants, thick gloves, and knit cap.

You have to be a little bit crazy to do this.

Sport, Moon, Moon Phase, Mood, Run, Silhouette, Runners

Even a casual runner like myself will have to deal with a lot in the pursuit of a bit of exercise. Here in Atlanta, that includes some truly punishing hills just about anywhere you try to go, not to mention wickedly schizophrenic weather (it was 72 degrees on Christmas day, and in the upcoming five days we’ll go from 20 degrees to 60 and back again if the weather outlets are to be believed). But wherever you do this running thing, many struggles are the same. If you run in the cities or the suburbs, there’s traffic to dodge. If you run in the country or on trails, you’ve got ticks and snakes and mosquitoes and spiderwebs to avoid.

Today it’s cold weather, and while I know that calling 22 degrees “cold” earns a snort and a snigger from some of you folks up north, it’s about as cold as the bones of this fragile Georgian can stand. I’ve got almost a dozen pieces of cold-weather gear for running, and none of it seems to put me in any sort of comfort zone. Fleece-lined gloves. Moisture-wicking hats. Shirts in all thicknesses and weights. I permutate the system, layer up, and try to adjust for the slightest fluctuation in temperature, wind, and precipitation, but it’s impossible to get it right. When I start out, the cold slices through all that and chills the bones, but once the engine gets running, suddenly I’m sweltering in all these layers and running around with the jacket undone, the sleeves rolled up, the gloves in a pocket.

And the summer. God.

When you’re a not-in-the-best-shape-of-your-life dude like me, there’s only so many layers of clothing you’re comfortable removing, even if you run in the wee hours of the morning. Then the temperature creeps up into the nineties and every step feels like stepping forward into warm Jello, the air positively gelatinous with humidity. The clothes smell of sweat even after coming through the wash. Even your feet perspire.

Then there are the injuries, and a runner without injuries is like a politician without a closet full of skeletons. The past two years, I’ve fought off nagging injuries in the calves, heels, and ankles of both feet. My wife gets horrible blisters and knee issues and, through running, discovered she actually had a broken bone in her spine (probably from gymnastics earlier in life, but unearthed by running).

Point is, running, as a whole, tends toward the unpleasant. For the most part, it isn’t a lot of fun.

Yet, pounding the pavement in the relative stillness of the early morning, watching those puffs of misty breath rise and scatter before my face, feeling the cold leaking into the soles of my feet, the tips of my fingers, the bulb of my nose, it hit me.

Despite all that the run sucked (and it did suck: I was slower than I’ve been in weeks, I felt short of breath, and my left heel was acting up again), I was still undeniably enjoying myself. I was glad I’d hauled myself out of bed, despite not having to work today. The run felt right, like an old Def Leppard t-shirt from high school or your memory-foam pillow at the end of a particularly long day.

I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve embraced such a masochistic form of exercise: you have to be maybe more than a little bit crazy to decide in your thirties that you want to be a writer, and start committing hours every day toward what most people think of as a pipe dream. Putting down your words and thoughts and the bizarre worlds that exist in your mind for others to see. Thinking about stories and narratives and conflicts and subplots when you could just as easily veg out and watch a House marathon on the weekends (man, I miss that show). Choosing that mental torture when I could just as easily not seems as indicative as anything that there’s something wrong with me.

Writer, Shadow, Man

Running and writing, two great forms of torture that taste great together!

Is this a universal truth — that the things you love cause you pain and discomfort like this? Frankly, it’s kind of bullshit. I wish I enjoyed other forms of exercise, or even better, that I didn’t care about exercise at all, but I just can’t. Nothing else floats my boat. And writing … well, maybe all this will come to nothing, but I decided two years ago that not trying was no longer acceptable, so come hell or hot Atlanta summers (which are practically synonymous, but whatever), I’m going to keep going.

We must be crazy to choose this running life, this writing life.

But upon further reflection, we’d be even crazier not to.


The 2nd Street Writing Syndicate


I sweep into the office a few minutes early, grab a cup of horrible coffee from the community pot, and sit down at my desk. I brush aside the unfinished manuscripts and dog-eared personal edits to have a look at the morning’s headlines: The usual mish-mash of impending deadlines, panicky calls for help with snarled projects, each message carrying behind it that familiar whiff of desperation. I’ve been in this business for so many years now, it’s all mundane enough to make me want to walk right back out the front door.

But wait — here’s something different.

Emergency. Project out of control. Please help. Then a phone number.

It’s so simple, so concise. Your typical distress call is couched in enough flowery language to choke a goat with an unreasonable appetite, the panicky flailings of a fledgling author out to prove himself while admitting he is totally out of his depth.

But this one has the sense not to waste words. It’s intriguing. I hop up from my desk, make a few rounds of the office, ask if anybody’s checking up on this case. Nobody is. Projects of their own. Ongoing calls. November’s just around the corner, so we’re all a bit on edge for the rush that’ll be coming. Nobody wants to pick up extra work, especially a call so vague it could be anything.

But it’s just that unknowable nothing that has me piqued. I pick up the phone, dial the number.

The voice on the other end is haggard, like he’s had about eighteen cups of coffee on two hours of sleep. “Hello?”

I tap a pen on my desk, prepare a notecard to jot down some vitals. “This is Ella Lucida, with 2nd Street, calling for Geoff Owens?”

A sigh of relief on the other end, and a scrambling clatter, like a bunch of cans being shoved off a desktop. “Yes. Oh, Jesus. That’s me.” A pause. “Can you help me?”

“That depends.”

#

Every once in a while, a call takes me to a nice place. Penthouse apartment, or mansion set way off away from the traffic and hurly-burly. This is not one of those calls. Geoff’s place is yet another shitty fifth-floor walk-up in a career full of shitty fifth-floor walk-ups. The building looks like if a few more windows were knocked out or a few more vagrants were sleeping in the lobby it could be condemned. But it isn’t, apparently, because the lights are on, and when I reach Geoff’s door, it’s locked, deadbolted, and safety-chained shut. It’s quiet inside, the quiet of a house with a sleeping newborn in the back room, the parents terrified to make a peep.

I knock.

There’s a scuffling of feet inside, a shuffling of papers, the sound of clicks and jangles as chains and bolts are slid back. The door cracks, and a wily eye peers out at me.

“Ella?”

The guy’s clearly been through it, judging from the bags under his eyes and the dusting of stubble under his chin. I nod.

“Come in.”

Inside looks about like you’d expect. Peeling floral-print wallpaper, revealing even worse psychedelic-striped wallpaper beneath. Piles of paper covered with notes and heavily-used paperbacks tossed all over the place. Overpowering stink of stale cigarette smoke. I’m about to ask him to crack a window when I notice they’re nailed shut.

We’ve been through it already, but I find it helps to let a client talk it out first. So I ask him to tell me again.

“My story,” he flashes his tongue across his lips, “has a demon.”

#

He spins out the tale in a rush, his hushed whispers barely stirring the ashy dust caught in the sunlight through the window. I nod and listen and purse my lips thoughtfully here and there, pausing to write down what he thinks are notes but what are actually meaningless scribbles. It’s become clear to me that there’s nothing special going on here; he’s just another neurotic writer who believes that the problems of his story have gotten out of hand because of some magic. He talks about characters acting strangely. Plot lines that he can’t resolve. Antagonists who talk too much. A shadowy figure that he didn’t write flitting through his scenes and replacing his carefully crafted text with gibberish.

“Wait a second.” He didn’t mention that on the phone. “What did you say?”

“I’m writing a simple love story. Boy meets girl — zombie apocalypse happens — girl devours boy’s brains — girl and boy unlive happily ever after.”

“I got that part.” It’s among the more terrible premises for a book that I’ve heard lately, but it’s not the worst. “Tell me about the figure.”

“So the book has zombies, sure. And werewolves. And one guy who might be a vampire or maybe he just has alopecia.” A nervous shrug. “I haven’t decided.”

“The figure,” I insist.

“When I go back and read my work, there’s this… thing. It appears in scenes out of nowhere and… look, it’s easier if I just show you.”

It’s dangerous work diving into an unknown author’s work. You never know what to expect. So as he boots up the laptop, I unpack my kit, laying the tools of my trade on the desktop. Spell-correcting goggles, because the average new author has the spelling ability of an ADD sixth-grader. A high-diffusion plot-detangler, which can sniff out and eliminate an extraneous development before you can explain that it’s necessary for character development. A de-purpling prosometer, which cleans all the adverbs and adjectives right out of a paragraph. And finally, my correct-all quill. I haven’t used it in years — not since the great Wikipedia overflowing of 2012, where an overly ambitious author cleverly began rewriting entries in iambic pentameter and couldn’t stop. It took seven agents to subdue him, and I fancy I can still see bits of the de-versed Shakespearean entries about penguin mating habits swimming in the beads of ink at its tip. I won’t use it, but any author worth his salt recognizes a powerful instrument when he sees it.

Geoff’s eyes linger on the quill. Not all authors know about the syndicate, and fewer still know all the tools we carry, but somehow, he does. “Is that thing for real?” He asks.

I nod. “Wanna touch it?”

Fear replaces wonder in a heartbeat. His eyes get wide and he stammers uselessly for a moment before declining. His manuscript has opened on the laptop. He steps back and I begin to read.

It’s as idiotic as I expected. Another zombie outbreak story, ho-hum. But as I’m reading, I get this weird impression of a figure all in black lurking at the edges of each scene. I re-read, but there’s nothing there. Strange.

Then, at the end of the third chapter, suddenly there’s a blank page before the fourth. “Did you leave this gap here?”

“What? No, I — Oh god, he’s eating whole pages now!”

I return to the manuscript. The seventh chapter has been replaced with a copy of Green Eggs and Ham, complete with illustrations. Chapter ten is nothing but ones and zeroes. Chapter thirteen is ASCII art of a donkey’s privates.

“It’s getting worse,” Geoff moans.

That much is clear. I reach for the prosometer and aim it squarely at the screen. The ASCII art rearranges itself into a fist with a defiantly extended middle finger.

“What the –”

Then I see it.

I didn’t even think those things existed, but there it is, just to the side of the blinking cursor, hiding behind it as it winks in and out of existence underneath the pile of rudely arranged punctuation. A GrammaDemon.

It’s rumored that GrammaDemons are single-handedly responsible for the loss of all the greatest literature the world has ever known. The missing counterparts of the Rosetta Stone. Cardenio. And now there’s a GrammaDemon lurking in a godawful zombie story written by a nobody in the middle of nowhere.

The demon winks at me — it actually winks — and begins filling the next page with arcane scribblings in symbols I can’t even hope to read. It’s trying to come through, I realize.

I don the spell-fixing goggles and begin to type. The only hope is to contain the monster before it can escape the page and wreak hell in the literaverse. I conjure a hero with a flaming sword to attack the demon — the demon washes the hero aside in an effortless wave of capital A’s. Sweat breaking out on my brow, I try another tack — into the setting I write a bottomless pit for the demon to fall into, but the little bastard is too fast for me; out of the pit fly a thousand unicorns that buoy him, cackling, up and around the page. The demonic symbols have spilled over from the word processor and are covering the desktop now; there isn’t much time.

I aim the prosometer at the page and fire; the symbols scatter from the blast, but they don’t disappear — instead, they begin to leak out of the side of the screen and congeal on the desktop. I raise the de-tangler and level it at the pool of inky blackness, but a hand congeals out of the babble and slaps the device across the room. It hits Geoff between the eyes and he drops like a sackful of query letters.

With horror, I back away from the desk. The hand has become an arm and a shoulder, steeped in inky ichor, rasping in a voice like the turning of a thousand pages and smelling like rotted parchment.

My eye falls on the quill. If ever there were a time, it’s now.

I hurl myself at the desk, ducking under the swiping arm of the GrammaDemon. My fingers close around the shank. Its ink runs thick and viscous over my hand, like the blood of a ravenous beast. I snarl and swing my arm around just as the demon kicks me across the room with a foot made entirely of the word “the”. I crack my head on the rim of the trashcan by the door. My vision goes blurry. The last thing I see is the quill, embedded in the GrammaDemon’s chest. Then there’s a loud crack, and everything goes black.

#

It feels like I’ve lost consciousness, but I haven’t. I feel Geoff tugging at my arm and realize that I’m wide awake, I just can’t see. I wipe my eyes — they’re covered with ink, just like everything else in the room. The laptop, the desk, Geoff, the windows — all are dripping with ink and congealed random letters: the lifeblood of the slain GrammaDemon.

“Are you all right?” Geoff asks. I put a hand to my head — it comes away soaked in ink, rather than blood. I nod.

“Your manuscript,” I say.

He runs to his desk, wipes the sheen of ink off the screen. Gone are the demonic symbols, the ASCII art, the ones and zeroes, the eggs, the ham. All that’s left is his horrible story.

“You did it,” he says, and before I can stop him, he’s hugging me. Ink is on his shoulders and in my hair and squishing out between our shoulders.

I pack up my things, cleaning off as much of the ink as I can. The quill is ruined: the shaft shattered, the plumules scattered around the room, sticking up at haphazard angles out of the ink. I don’t pity Geoff the cleaning bill he’ll have, but then again, the black is an improvement over the wallpaper. I leave him hunched over his laptop, finishing his manuscript, giddy — or maybe just lightheaded — on the fumes of the slain GrammaDemon.

As I hit the street, my cell chimes. There’s an APB out on somebody rewriting the lower third of the news broadcast in Gaelic. I check my watch. Not lunchtime yet.

I wipe a smudge of ink from my eyebrow and hail a cab. It’s gonna be a long day.

**************

Chuck’s challenge this week was to take a title created by another author and spin it into a story. I picked, obviously, “The 2nd Street Writing Syndicate,” offered by one David Marks. I had more fun writing this than I care to admit. It probably needs some work, but writing it was a creative and cathartic burst that I needed this week. Hope you enjoy!

This story was influenced more than a little by Jasper Fforde’s works about literary detective, Thursday Next.


The Itch, or Why It’s Better To Just Go Ahead and Write Something, ANYTHING


Work was a beast today. Finals time, students are panicking, banging down my door, shoving papers in my face, “HERE GRADE THIS HASTILY SCRIBBLED TWO-MONTHS-LATE ASSIGNMENT SO I CAN PASS THE CLASS.” I debated a hundred times giving the lecture: “Had you done all your work at the appropriate time instead of, perhaps, staring gobsmacked into your cell phone when you should have been paying attention in class, then maybe you would have the grade you wanted and wouldn’t feel like the ant looking at the descending boot right now.” But that’s in vain, at this point. I’ve only been saying it for months. If they haven’t learned it from me by now, it ain’t gonna sink in today. Still, I don’t have to put the grades in until Monday. So maybe I’ll let those failing grades hang over their heads for the weekend, each of them enduring their own personal Sword of Damocles.

Anyway, I didn’t meet my writing goal today. This is not the end of the world (#writerproblems are not #realproblems) but it irked. It settled into my shoe like a microscopic bit of gravel and yanked at my mind throughout the afternoon and the evening, chewing on my thoughts like a voracious little psychic were-rabbit. Wrapped up my school day. Didn’t get your writing done. Went for another delightful trail run. There’s still writing to do. Got home, made dinner. You only wrote 500 words today. There’s still time. Made the final arrangements for tomorrow night’s soccer banquet. Only 100 more to make your bare minimum goal. You can cough up 100 words sitting on the toilet if you have to. Skyped with the wife and kids. They’d love you more if you would finish your writing. Watched a bit of TV, because goldfinger it, I deserve that. Slacker. How dare you consume media when you could be CREATING media. Shut everything down and headed for bed.

Oh, that’s cute. You think I’m going to let you sleep, knowing you only have to write 100 words to shut me up?

I could be joking, but I’m not. I feel like a total and abject failure as a writer if I have the opportunity to get it done and I don’t get it done. I feel no comparable sense of shortcoming for virtually anything else in my life. Didn’t get that stack of papers graded? They’ll keep til tomorrow. Yard didn’t get mowed today? Grass’ll still be there in the morning. Pets haven’t been fed lately? They could stand to lose a few pounds. (Let’s sidebar and establish that I don’t actually starve my pets, okay? THIS IS FACETIERY, PEOPLE. And, yeah, okay, fine, facetiery isn’t a word, but dag derg it, it should be.)

So I lay in bed for twenty minutes, eyes shut, focusing on the soothing sounds of the rumbling thunderstorm simulated by the white noise machine on the bedside table (how I ever slept in my life without one of these I will never know), completely failing to fall asleep, because the voice wouldn’t shut up. 100 words. Just 100 words. 100 words and you’d be done. If you weren’t a failure, you’d write the 100 words. Come on. You’ll feel better if you write a little bit. Just a little bit. Just 100 words. Come on. COME ON. GET UP AND WRITE. DON’T BE A B–“

So I got up. But I can’t write just 100 words, so I ended up writing 300. Then I had a good idea for something that should really happen earlier in the story, so I wrote another hundred words or so of notes to myself about what I need to go back and establish at a prior juncture. Then I remembered another couple of things I wanted to have happen at this leg of the narrative, so I doubled back and added them in as well. All told, I ended up writing about 600 words in the story, to add to the 500 I wrote before, so not only did I make my goal, I took a victory lap as well.

And what’s a victory lap deserve? Another victory lap on the blarg, because now my mind is racing and won’t shut up, and I have to spin off this mental energy somewhere. So there’s another 700 words of blarg drivel before I fall asleep.

If writing is my new addiction, I think I can live with it.


Launching the Edit Express


It’s underway.

I’ve read about three hundred blog posts and articles and comments on editing your novel and come to the conclusion that it’s just time to jump in the deep end and get on with it.  No sense in beleaguering the issue and putting it off — I had a secret goal to complete this novel within the span of a year, and if that’s going to happen, it’s time to get on the stick.  Leading up to it, I was terrified.  Sure I’d be unable to identify the errors or that I would wrongly let the crappy stuff slide through or worse, that I’d stomp out the good bits.

Well, I’m three days in.  The water was a shock at first, but I’m acclimating fast.  I’ve no idea if I’m doing it properly or not.  Basically I’m reading the first draft, jotting notes on a to-do list, and trying to track the major developments to make sure they make sense.  I’m also tidying up the copy as I go, fixing the finicky bits and cleaning up obvious errors and boring prose.

Some of the stuff that needs attention jumps out at me.  I overused the HELL out of the “sigh”, be it the exasperated sigh, the relieved sigh, the boy-that-turned-out-exactly-the-way-I-expected sigh.  So a lot of those sighs are in serious need of makeovers.  If there’s a better, cleaner, more interesting solution that comes ready to mind, I fix it.  If not, I highlight it for attention on the next pass.  There’s also some occasional redundancy that I wouldn’t have necessarily expected from myself — hey, everybody thinks he writes pretty decently and clearly the first time through, right? — which is easy enough to fix.  Like, I encountered a sentence today that said something along the lines of, “He picked up the glass and took a sip as he picked up the glass.”  Past me, in full-on Id-Writer mode, wrote that, thinking it was, you know, not total nonsense.  I guess the flow of the first draft isn’t always so clear and collected.

Then there’s other stuff that hides in the weeds, hoping I’ll glide past without noticing it.  I parsed a sentence wherein my hero “sat down at his desk, clutching her note in his hand,” and was about to keep on reading when I realized there had been no mention of a note in previous pages.  I asked the Id-Writer about it and he produced some vague snarls and growls that might have communicated something about a note and how it ended up in the hero’s possession, but it was about as easy to decipher as a bunch of feathers and teeth cast on a scrying table.  There are portions of the draft where Past Me left a trail of breadcrumbs for Future Me (now, I guess, Present Me) to follow: “go back and write in a scene where he cuts off the finger of his greatest rival,” for instance.  This was not one of those times.  So I’m in the dark about whatever brilliant idea I thought I had at the moment I was having it, and now I get to go prowling through the woods after it with the dim flashlight of my dubious memory.

The upshot of the process so far (and I know, I know, I’m a whopping three days in, what do I know yet about upshots — the sharknado hasn’t even speculated about the eventuality of getting real yet) is that I feel like I’m doing a pretty solid job of stomping out the charred, overcooked bits of prose where I was obviously buzzing the tower.  There haven’t been a lot of them — yet — but there are passages that stick out like a thumb that was hit with a hammer, treated with salve, became infected when the salve entered the bloodstream through a papercut, and then got hit with a hammer again.  Obviously out of character for the story or even for me.  There have literally been moments when I sat at the desk wondering if it was really possible that I wrote the words on the page in front of me, even though to think otherwise is ludicrous.  But then I think about that Id-Writer on his chain in the unlit basement and I recall those days when I’d churn out a thousand, or twelve hundred, or sixteen hundred words without even realizing the passage of time…

Not to make light of a serious mental condition, but I am starting to wonder, are writers in general as schizophrenic as I feel?  I honestly feel that the first draft of this novel was a conglomeration whacked together by not just me, but by three or four different versions of me, each with a different sense of humor, sense of timing, sense of language.  Then I wonder if that fragmented perception is a strike against the novel intrinsically (the story itself is fraught with problems that make it feel fragmented) or against the Me that wrote it in the first place (I’m fragmented as a writer because I don’t know myself or my voice or how to even tell a fargoing story yet).  Then I wonder if I’m not overthinking the whole thing (not that I’d ever be guilty of that) or even using parentheses too much (as if that were even possible).

All this, and I’m all of, oh, about six thousand words into the draft.  It feels like the start of a long road trip in a car with a gaggle of mildly psychotic socially inept know-it-alls.  Except in this metaphor, the radio is busted so we’ve got nothing to do but listen to each other kvell about the various problems with the blah blah blah and what each of us would do to fix the yada yada yada and what we really like about the et cetera.  And it’s a long fargoing way to Vegas.

Not sure why we’re headed to Vegas in this metaphor, but it felt right.  What happens in the editing mobile stays in the editing mobile, unless somebody dies or vomits.  Then we stop for air fresheners.


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