Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things That Are Keeping Me Sane Today

I've written at great length about my dwindling patience (okay, actually I've written at great length about pretty much everything. 'Writing at great length' is one of my many talents/weaknesses/character flaws and is the reason why I can't write short fiction). Anyhow, as the weeks tick by, I grow less and less willing to sit on my ass and wait for my hip to stop pulling a Rip Van Winkle and wake the fuck up. Luckily, however, life has handed me a welcome distraction. I've recently plunged headfirst back into my novel for another round of editing, which means that unless you are a woman in 1946 traveling by train from Ymir to New Westminster, I will not be interested in you until around Hallowe'en. My hip can take a number and head to the back of the line.

So what kind of fun-filled adventures can I look forward to when I switch my brain into editing mode? Many, such as waking up in the middle of the night in a panic over whether I have been using the word "trifecta" incorrectly -- (turns out that, yes, I kind of was) -- or spending 30 minutes trying to decide between the word "destroyed" and the word "shattered", or walking up to the New Westminster Public Library to get some work done and being passed by at least 4 four-door baby-blue Toyota Corollas (Corroli?) from mid-90's identical to the one I used to drive and so spending the majority of the day feeling as if I was being stalked by myself circa 2002. Right now, I am alternating between blogging and scouring the internets for recordings of WWII fighter jets taking off.

When your life is feeling out of control, there's nothing better than editing. (Well, okay, there are some things better than editing, namely your surgeon figuring out what the hell is wrong with your Freaky Cyborg Hip, therefore allowing you to get a job and a social life etc. etc. but let's take what we can get, shall we?) Editing allows you to make bold, decisive decisions that will lead to concrete improvements. Comma faults can be tidied up! Annoying tendencies to over-use the "clause - colon - list" sentence pattern can be eradicated! Images can be made crisper and more visceral! Demi-scenes can be moved around so as to heighten the narrative arc! I may not be able to activate my hip flexors, but I can damn well make sure that when two children are playing feverish war games in a hotel-turned-brothel circa 1946, they are doing so with historically accurate plane sounds. This is a deeply satisfying feeling.

Other things that have been keeping me sane:
  • Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes' blog "Clouds of Evil." His description of Canadian taxi-hailing customs rocks my world three ways past Sunday: I wish my blog had descriptions of people mistaking Dan Bejar for my lover. (Well, I suppose my blog could have those kinds of descriptions, but they might result in a slander lawsuit from Dan Bejar not wanting his street cred ruined by being associated with six feet of cane-twirling, penguin-walking, crazy-haired Arleyness).
  • Cranking up Pavement's "Wowee Zowee" and playing air guitar, although this activity is admittedly not as fun when A. is not around to be excruciatingly embarassed by my air-guitar face.
  • Having breakfast at Adrian and Steph's place. I am not the first person to note that bacon cures all wounds and I won't be the last. (Unless, of course, you are either jewish or vegetarian).
  • Yeah...ok...that's pretty much it. But still. Small victories.

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