EDITING. Endless, exhausting, invigorating. It’s how I’ll be spending my writing hours today, so I thought I’d share my current process. (Of course, there are so many processes and stages and convolutions that I could never document them all.)
My manuscript is at that stage where it doesn’t need another entire from-scratch draft, but the prose needs some all-around touching up. Here’s how I’m doing that this week:
Step 1: Open original document on half of the screen.
Step 2: Open new document on other half.
Step 3: Re-type the original in new document, taking it a chapter at a time.
Thus far I’ve found this method to work really well for me. I’m following along my story and fixing what needs to be fixed, tuning what needs to be tuned, but in a controlled way that doesn’t feel like I’m re-inventing the wheel. I’d love to hear anyone else’s preferred methods of torture as well.
It’s incredible what a good break from reality does for a person: starting my days off running on the beach and swimming in the ocean did wonders for my creativity–I think I wrote more in the last week and a half than I have in months. Of course, the resulting dive back into business is a shock. But it’s good to be back in the game.
This week’s reading list: Michel Foucault, Michael Taussig, Clifford James, Gretel Van Wieren, Aradhana Sharma. A bit different from my spring break line up! Definitely more highlighting involved.
I’d better get used to the fact that my life is one long reading list of one kind or another. But really, that’s much better than the alternative, which is not reading at all or, god forbid, reading in moderation.
(Infinite, it stretches on.)
My grandma’s house is full of treasures, wonders, and oddities. A large part of my aesthetic sense came from her, which is why my friends often find bizarre what I’d call cute. Her house is a good place to write: I can glance up and see ten to twenty strange or interesting things at any moment, from any place in the house.
1. Monkey man with cymbals
His face suggests that he knows more than he lets on.
2. A rainbow-winged wooden pegasus
One of a hundred unicorns and pegasi to be found around the house.
3. A glass bowl of babies
I don’t have a comment for this one. They speak for themselves.
4. A trip of mushroom friends
They’re either witches or in a band, or both.
5. A Green Man hanging on the wall
As far as I know, no one in my family is wiccan.
6. A copy of the Tao Te Ching
Found next to a figure of a reclining laughing buddha.
7. A tiny model of a flintlock pistol
Found very near the monkey man. Coincidence?
The last month of my life has seen me get sick three times, become so busy that my sleep and workout schedule suffered (a death knell), and get thoroughly sick of the to-do lists that I had to start making three times a day. So I’m reverse-hibernating in sunny Florida for my spring break, jaunting about with my grandmother, and getting internet only in the public library and the Starbucks.
I restrained myself and only brought the above five books instead of the nine that I wanted, because I don’t want to stress myself out with required reading–I want to relax with fun, leisurely reading.
So over the next week I’ll be reading Half Lost by Sally Green, Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland, So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane (one of my fave books ever, re-reading it for a paper), When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (one of my new years’ resolution must-reads!).
And if I finish those before next Saturday, I have a stockpile of e-books that I’ll get cracking on.
It’s International Women’s Day! I’m spending it studying for a midterm, participating in a discussion about Standing Rock, taking a midterm, going to a thesis meeting, and helping plan a #NoBanNoWall action.
Women will be in my thoughts today. The women who are leaders today and were leaders before us, who paved the way. Because of them I’m taking my midterms and writing a thesis and advocating. The work and the fight of the women before me shaped my work and my fight today.
Here’s to my mother, my stepmother, my grandmothers, my little sister. My aunts, my cousins, my teachers, family friends, best friends, mentors, and otherwise.
And let us always remember intersectionality when we remember the women who got us here.
Here are some very cool dictionary-like resources for your enjoyment. For finding things like synonyms, rhymes, and words on the tip of your tongue. Go crazy.
Reverse Dictionary : enter a word or phrase to get results
Synonym Finder: find some synonyms
Similar Word Finder for the word you just can’t quite remember
Rhyming Dictionary that is seriously hardcore
Uncommon ‘A’ Words for all your uncommon ‘A’ needs
Dictionary of Obscure Words, which I have investigated here
The Shorter Thesaurus for finding short synonyms
So I finished the book Half Bad by Sally Green today. It was refreshing, because I haven’t had a book that’s nearly made me miss class in a while. I’d almost forgotten the panic/rage that accompanies skidding down the hallway a minute late to class while also filled with sheer blinding rage that my conscience won’t allow me to just skip and finish the damn book.
So it’s great. I read it in a day and a half, and only that slowly because of the aforementioned school. I picked up the last two books today. (Maybe not the best idea, considering it’s only Tuesday.) A seriously compelling writing style, despite the anguish that starts from pretty much page one, and intriguing characters (I dearly hope we meet Bob again along the way).
I’m off to read Half Wild now.