I peeked. I bought printer paper and printed up draft one and had a bit of a read. So, um, yeah… it isn’t really finished. I erred on the side of cutting too much for this pass. As a result, some storylines are axe-murderer choppy, and the stakes for my two main people are weak and undefined. Not that any of my characters will come through this revision with a ten year career plan or retirement fund… but there are too many gaps. Also, after cutting and pasting all my scenes into one document, my word count is only around 45 000- which is not novelly. Oops. Need to put some story back in that story.
I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of a mountain, looking up and knowing I gotta get my non athletic ass up there somehow… but overall, I’m excited. Little ideas have been coming to me at odd places and hours: in traffic waiting for my left turn signal, in the stockroom while I move boxes. The back burner is a hell of a thing. Draft two will be show-it-to-people time.
Other People’s Books (aka Real Books, haha)
I read Catcher in the Rye the other week (I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Pretty keen use of voice, but so far, I haven’t shot a single rock star. ) I got a few chapters into To Kill a Mockingbird before a friend reminded me it’s Banned Books week. Who else will be reading a sinful and terrible banned book? Twelfth Night anyone? Judy Blume? I read the most fantastic quote from Adler&Robin Books: “censorship in the United States is an old pastime and new hobby of the feebleminded.”
You don’t like it? Close it. Don’t tell me I can’t read it.
In other book news, I tried to get my Proust on, to help refill that 19th Century well in my brainhole. Swann’s Way, which I think is part one of A la Recherche de Temps Perdu… isn’t this thing supposed to have more cookies in it? Sorry, P, I’m just not that into you. Maybe it’s the translation.
I’m really digging a biography of Edward Lear, Life of a Wanderer (too lazy to look up the author) The letters and sketches the author works in to the story are really hitting me hard. I never would have guessed that so many rhymes and poems from my childhood came from such a sad and lonely place…
Also sitting around my living room in various states of read/abandoned/picked up again: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and the Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.
K&C: Comic books, Houdini, smuggling Jewish children out of WWII era Prague, and possibly the best, hottest first kiss scene I have ever read in my life? Check.
YPU: The Frozen Chosen! It’s a film noir detective story set in alternate-history Sitka, Alaska. Apparently the US government did entertain the idea of letting Jewish refugees come to Alaska during WWII. Chabon takes this idea and runs with it. Even the end notes are hilarious, smart, and completely heartbreaking (I struggled with this dense, tricky book last year, and read all the interviews, explanations and book club notes at the back before diving in again.) Chabon talks about setting up his world, its logic and language ( shalom=peace=piece=gun??? I’M IN LOVE.) Also he points out that if this alternate reality had taken place, there would be about thirty million more Jews in the world today- entire families not wiped off the face of the earth forever. Chabon is on the list of famous people whom my husband and I are both allowed to try to bone, no questions asked, should said famous person become no longer committed to their current spouse, what have you. All’s fair, man.
Too much jibber jabber, not enough writing? My stacks of unfinished books just another symptom of starts-but-never-finishes disease? La la la, darling, I simply cannot hear you. Happy Sunday.