June 21st, 2007


Is It Thursday?

Oh jeez. Line edits.

Here's a thought. Editing is like picking blueberries. You go through the text. You change things, find the overused words, wrong ideas, cliches, stuff like that. You go through the blueberry bushes and pick the ripe ones. Then you turn around and there's always more to edit, something you missed the first time. The same happens with the bushes. Just when I think I've picked every blueberry that's ripe, I see more.

E and I hadn't picked since Sunday. We have over 2 quarts this morning. Not only is Bush #1 in production, but now some of the others with the larger and sweeter berries have ripened. Not all. And that's actually the problem with Bush #1. To look at, you would think you could just strip every branch. It's blue everywhere. But on close inspection (and we do mean close) you find that more than half the berries still have pink or even white near the stem or on the underside away from the sun. Sigh. Is kinda frustrating. Like editing.

Mouse King continues. I have about half the line edits typed. All is red pen except for the 2 pages where I must make decisions. Yesterday in the only half hour I had to myself, I brainstormed some ideas of WHY I had this scene, what it was supposed to do. I got about 10 thoughts and one was a cool metaphor, so that will get used. But it's the non-metaphorical mechanical aspect of the scene that must be considered.

I also discovered something about my process yesterday. When I'm writing a rough draft and reaching for a phrase or word, I will type three words or phrases instead of one. Part of editing is to choose which works (usually a fourth) and delete the others. Once in a very great while, I am allowed to keep 3 adjectives for emphasis. But part of the edit is to go through and realize where I've done this, where my thinking was still muddy. But I'll probably miss some of these because this is only the first real draft and in places my thinking is still a bit muddy.

Back to work.
Frog Out

And In Other News

Miss E's birthday extravaganza is now scheduled (officially) for July 7, the morning before I leave for Taos. Not great, but it's better than the weekend before. We need time to plan. Because this really is an extravaganza. Of literary merit. To whit, a bunch of adults running around in costumes with kids running around solving clues that get harder with each passing year. This year's story is themed on Peter Pan with kids invited to come as lost boys and girls in their pajamas. We even involve the chickens. And cut a maze in the hayfield. Ten acres of running around followed by a slip 'n slide. I'm always exhausted afterwards. Creatively and physically.

The first year, I received director's notes from E. Last year, she became upset when the script was modified to suit events as they unfolded. She has solemnly sworn not to get upset when folks deviate from the script this year. It's all performance art. So why am I posting about it now? Because I have two RSVP's from boys already. I love having a daughter, but it's the boys that make the party fun. The girls are generally more squeamish than E and prone to being frightened by pirates and wild men in our woods jumping out at them. I have to admit, I write my script to an audience of boys and tomboys.

When a six year old boy cries because his parents tell him it's time to leave, my work is done. This year, I have the challenge of 7-8 year old boys. It has to be edgy enough for a tv generation and clever enough that they can't skip steps.

Frog Out


frostokovich, who rarely posts, has just posted the cover to his new and VERY long-awaited novel, Shadowbridge. He's been working on Shadowbridge for more than ten years and the word is it's going to be worth the wait. (Don't take my word for it, Karen Traviss says so right there on the cover.) Supposedly it will be out in January. Cool scarcely covers it.