now to the index cards
3/5ths through jotting down these Daugment scenes so I can figure out what’s gettin’ cut and what’s missing and what’s in the wrong place. this is the part that I put off for a very long time because I fear its exhausting depths, but when the time finally comes I become very still inside and just get through it
having an editor go over everything is, yes, nervewracking, but this place hires professionals, so my editor knows that when she says “I wrote this sentence to add content to your article but please work your writerly magic” what she’s really saying is, “you’re here because you’re a competent writer, and I’m here because I’m a competent editor, and there’s no reason we need to get offended by that” and everything is better.
It’s been like an episode of the as-of-yet-nonexistent reality show “Device Swap” around here this weekend! Jake graciously bestowed his laptop upon me, saying that while he’d love to keep it, I need it right now between starting up my consulting side business and writing so much. So now, with this beautiful Apple keyboard that truly compels me to type, I’m starting my editing of A God Grown Old. Slowly but surely I’m replacing all of the spots where I’d gotten lazy or couldn’t find an old reference and had to put questions marks in brackets, and going through my “Rough Draft 1” copy on my Kindle to find the highlights I’d made for awkward phrasing or concepts I need to look at again.
And seriously, this computer is awesome. I can type so fast on it. Between this generous gift and the inspiration that Bioshock Infinite has been, I should be producing volumes of work in no time…
well, my lovelies, it’s happened. on Saturday (December 29), I finished the first draft of A God Grown Old. I immediately saved it as a PDF and converted it for my Kindle, then left it alone.
because this phase is about resting.
this phase is about falling asleep on an idea. about softly sighing into the dark about the inconsistencies and listening for the answers in your imagination. about making peace with your flaws and your novel’s flaws. this phase is for finding the joyous spark of research and brainstorming again, for seeking out those first readers, for facing the reality of what comes next.
I don’t know how I’ll do, chopping up my baby. she’s short already (just over 65k words) and in my heart, she’s complete. but she’s not. A God Grown Old has much growing to do before it has aged into something I can proudly show the world.
for now, I rest.
(and by rest I mean start brainstorming and researching the next novel! which is as of yet untitled but will appeal to fans of science fiction, smut, and philosophy.)
So the other day, as I was locking up my bike, I noticed this City of Portland parking van parked near my office:
I was greatly annoyed by this, because while I could figure out the intended message, it’s only because this kind of message is prevalent, and I was honestly confused for a second because what it actually says doesn’t make much sense.
For those not as obnoxious as me: without any kind of separation, that warning tells the reader that they should expect that not very many stops should be happening in the future, which is precisely the opposite of what they are intended to say. At the least, there should be a semicolon or two different lines, to indicate they are two separate thoughts – “Many stops; do not follow” would be a perfectly legitimate warning. I later saw one that I permitted, in which the two thoughts were identical to this one, but separated by a large amount of white (or, rather orange) space:
Apparently the actual parking repair vans know their stuff. But that first one is still in need of revision. I was considering getting some vinyl semicolons printed up to rectify the omission myself with a little guerilla copyediting, but then I realized that I still had about half of my 100-pack of HRC stickers, which just happened to be a very similar shade of blue. After rummaging around the office for a razor blade, I know have some guerilla semicolons ready to go for next time:
The size is a little iffy, we’ll see how it goes. I saw one outside this morning, but was not fast enough, and by the time I got down there with a sticker and a razor blade, the parking attendants were back in their van.
please let’s just all take a moment to acknowledge how awesome Joel is.