12:30 AM, five pages into a reread, edit, of Arms in Ankeny, and this ant won’t leave me alone. Keeps crawling on to my keyboard, running up my hand. I try to enjoy it, emphasizing my speculative function, but the second time it interrupts my editing I start to get annoyed. Resistance. Over all though, editing is going better than I’d hoped. Bad words are starting to jump out at me. I’m starting to be able to read the work at a fast pace and not cringe every couple seconds under the force of my stupidity. We may be getting close…
Great words, ZAGGED.
2:15PM Post lunch, turkey sandwich with brie and greens, bowl of turkey/bean soup, oatmeal M&M cookies fresh from oven for treat, chugged with last portion of coffee. Back to the Art. Going to read, journal, focus on a couple details in work in progress. Try to get a big picture perspective.
Later, 8:06PM healthy ache in my muscles, back in the writing lab after evening chores. Turned over the compost, composted pepper plants, hacked back tree I almost cut down last year, with chainsaw, cleaned up mess, mowed, watered everything, had dinner pork-loin, candied baby carrots, greens. Water is delicious.
Reading Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin. Story has captured me. I love the Latin, ancient history aspect to the book. Took Latin as my foreign language requirement at University of Iowa. Enjoyed it because the focus was more on translation then speaking. I have an idea for this blog, “An Idiot Tries to Translate Virgil’s Aeneid,” but as you can imagine that is a very slow haul.
Lesson from writing and gardening today, focus on each individual plant, or quality over quantity. These are things I intellectually know but haven’t actively incorporated. Each year with my garden I tell myself to scale back, focus on each plant, a couple tomatoes, a couple peppers, create a system. I ended up with 12+ of each scattered around, most of them doing all right, none of them doing that great. Writing is the same way, huge slush pile, but nothing exceptional which I can hang on the wall for posterity. The editor self chimes in, why’d you use posterity? Mark Twain said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent one will do.” Alternatives, generations, progeny (mb more expensive), kids (winner, captures theme I am a stay-at-home Dad).
These are the sort of analytical black holes editing seem to create for this author. Words loose their discrete associations, until it’s one undulating wongwongwongwong…goddammit, the editor voice says, with appropriate dejection. Good day Writer Warriors.