I’m blogging about sneaky summer milestones today over at the Wet Noodle Posse blog.
Monthly Archives: August 2007
Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?
If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?
I do have multiple copies of the same book. I have a Jane Austen compilation with all her novels. Then I have (possibly many) copies of the individual novels. Because the print in that compilation? Pretty tiny.
I have three copies of Anna Karenina. One was from a survey of Russian Lit in college. One was from the Tolstoy class I took senior year–this copy is in Russian, then I have the recent release of it, the “Oprah” version that was a gift.
Gift receiving is also the reason I have two copies of The Lovely Bones, which, slacker that I am, I haven’t read.
Some of these are from college. I never sold back any of my Russian fiction. Some of them are from the trip I took to Russia in November 1991.
Sometimes it takes writing to figure out what you are writing about and then you must go back and start all over again.
My instructor for the children’s writing class said this the other day (I’m paraphrasing slightly).
I have a friend (no, this isn’t me in the guise of friend–for real) who claims to hate writing “under the burden of previously written scenes.” This person is a good writer (but look at how deftly I avoid revealing gender). But I’ve never seen this person (more gender-avoiding waltzing) do more than a rough draft of a novel. In a strange paradox, this person hates “wasted scenes” but has walked away from (by my count) four novels.
Oh, and I’m not talking about anyone who reads this blog. If you thought “That’s me!”
You. Thought. Wrong.
But I’ve been thinking about this. My instructor referred to it as impatience. When you write, it simply doesn’t all come at once. I suppose it could, for some people. I know my brain can only handle so much at a time. When I started the revisions for my current project, I was all about voice. So much so, I forgot about structure. Structure flew out the window, ran down the street, and I’m still calling her name, trying to get her back.
Actually, this week, I’m all about structure. You might say the Hard-looking, Eye-looking is courtin’ structure.
Let’s hope she’ll want to be my steady gal.
Last night, I was praising the kids for swimming so hard at their lessons. Andrew will be moving up a level, yet again, and Kyra is oh-so close but her progress has been tremendous this session.
We made our standard joke of working hard/hardly working (cuz you know, it never gets old). Then Kyra insisted I work hard at swim lessons too. She groped for words to describe exactly what it is I do there and came up with:
Hard looking eye looker.
What I think she means is I watch their lessons closely with, of course, my eye. I love the sound of it, though. Sounds like something from the Old West (Hollywood version).
“Sure, I know the Hard Looking Eye Looker,” the barkeep said, polishing a whiskey glass with a bit of homespun. “Lives in the caves up behind the old abandon gold mines. Lives all by her lonesome, too, expect fer Pete, the one-eyed parrot. Mean sommabitch. Nearly took out young Nat’s eye last week. Jealous, you know. You best be travelin’ some other direction.”
And for writers, filed under the: if you only read one blog post on writing today, read this one from Stef’s (almost) Daily Dish. I didn’t realize that Stef was dishing it out almost daily lately either. I must get out more. Like Trish Milburn who sold a while back, Stef is another Noodler who sets the gold standard as far as persistence goes.
You might even say she’s a hard looking eye looker.
So, I went searching today on a whim and look what I found:
Man, I love the internet.
Warning: it has “adult” language and is about five minutes long. But oh, so worth it.
I know it’s wrong, and shallow, but this makes me v. v. happy.
Technical Writer Haiku
Code cutoff, rejoice
But wait! It will not install
Tears drench your keyboard
* * *
There will be changes
Content, timeframe, uncertain
* * *
New program feature
Two Subject Matter Experts
The delay is long
* * *
“We forgot to tell you . . .”
Endless night of words
* * *
Seven hundred pages
A tech writer weeps
I was going to do Booking through Thursday today, but I’m in a somber mood. I’m sure most of you have heard of the bridge collapse already. In fact, I know you have. I received so many emails asking how we were doing. I was startled and touched. I know I’m sometimes geographically challenged, so I don’t expect everyone I know “cyberly” to remember where I live.
I do drive across the Mississippi everyday, but I take a different highway. And yeah, I drove across that bridge this morning and it was a little weird. We can’t determine if Andrew’s bus for yesterday’s fieldtrip went over the 35W bridge. Uh, no one was talking at the Y this morning, but it’s another sobering thought.
I’d like to give blood, but I’m deferred (there’s no way to screen for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and I spent the late 80s and early 90s on a military base in Europe). In fact, I just heard back from an RN at the Red Cross. I used their “customer service” email. I didn’t want to tie up anything locally. She confirmed what I already knew.
But I’m making a donation today to the disaster relief fund. If you’d like to help out, you can find more information here: Twin Cities Red Cross.
I’ve written before how much I like taking my kids to swim lessons, how just being around the water and the whole pool chemical cocktail smell (this pool doesn’t use chlorine but other … stuff) relaxes me. Sort of a Pavlovian dog paddle response.
Anyway, Andrew was in the pool. His lessons are longer, more rigorous. I use the fifteen minutes between start times to braid Kyra’s hair into pigtails. And sometimes it does take me the full fifteen minutes. We watch the babies in the Mommy & Me swim class, although more accurately, it’s the Grandma/Grandpa/Daddy/Mommy-with-tattoo & Me swim class.
They always end the class by singing The Wheels on the Bus. My fingers were in a tangle, trying to get Miss B’s slippery hair to behave. I may have misheard them. But. I could have sworn they sang:
The wankers on the bus go …
I believe they sang wipers. As in windshield. Really. But it didn’t sound like it at all.
Kyra and I also sing our own songs while we wait for her lesson to start. I’ll sing the ones I remember from Girl Scout camp, such as:
Oh, a duck can’t sit on a limb
Cuz he doesn’t have thumbs on his feet.
And a bird can’t swim in the sea like a fish …
Cuz he hasn’t got a waterproof, hasn’t got a waterproof, hasn’t got a waterproof seat.
Because singing about a bird’s butt? Always appropriate. Hey, at least I’m not singing to my child about wankers, thank you very much. Later that evening, Kyra was singing softly to herself while she played: hasn’t got a waterproof seat. Over and over again
As for the wankers, I don’t want to know why they were on the bus, but I’m thinking they can stay there.