January 12, 2016
But this book has changed my thoughts on editing. Let me examine this term "slow writing."
In the past I have been a "dumper." I dump 1000 to 2000 words a day into my computer until I have a book. I always let someone, some unconnected editor, deal with the detritus that I have created. And yet, I have always been vaguely unhappy with the final result. It is not really the editor's fault, here's why.
GIGO. Oh you know. I've given them garbage and they have made a superhuman effort to make sense of it.
This all came to a head a couple of years ago when I submitted about 100,000 words of sheer mess to an editor friend who endeavored to tell me what was wrong with the pile of manure by cutting out about 35,000 words.
I was indignant. How dare she?
Well she was right, of course. GIGO.
I have written very few lines since then. I seemed blocked. But really I was fighting with myself about the importance of self editing before it even hits an editor. The Art of Slow Writing has changed that. It has taught me that the best writing comes with contemplating what one has written no matter how long that takes.
I've carefully selected a novella that I almost finished about 17 years ago (and started 25 years ago.) Going against my impulse not to print it out to edit it (I'm awfully cheap when it comes to paper and printer ink), I am resolved to look at a maximum of only 5 pages each day, and edit it with a pen. Yes, folks, that 19th century tool.
Perhaps it will be, when I am done many months from now, a present to you, my readers. Stay tuned.
December 4, 2015
(Which I SHALL publish in 2015)
July 16, 2015
Okay, now I've admitted it, what will I do?
The first thing I have decided to do is not to think about all the books I have in my PC just sitting there waiting for me to.... Oops.
The second thing I am doing is to cultivate other artistic sides of myself. I've always loved photography so I bought myself a new (used) camera and I am doing light studies. Eons ago when I was doing this it was a whole nuther thing. You took the roll of film. You had it developed. You found someone who would let you have time in their dark room. And then you spent oodles of money on developing fluid and paper. Much easier now.
I may just concentrate on this for awhile but there may be other things in the works.
July 12, 2015
All over Facebook today the question is "Will you read Go Set A Watchman? so I sat down to answer twenty of my friends asking the question and decided to answer it here instead.
Yes. Yes, I will read Go Set a Watchman.
I have heard answers that range from my enthusiastic YES. To NO NEVER, EVER, EVER. In almost every case the latter is explained that they don't want to know that (spoiler here) Atticus was a racist. They say it would "spoil" Mockingbird for them or that it just wasn't right.
Now I know that lotsa people don't like change and certainly having your mind changed about someone is very hard. But I don't think that gaining a better understanding of a man and his time is a bad thing. To me finding out that Atticus is a racist is an interesting placement of the man in his profession. That he can be a racist and yet still believe in the law and justice for everyone is not necessarily inconceivable for the time in which he lived.
Now, stop there a moment. I am not condoning racism or anything that happened with regards to the vile persecution of people of color. What I am saying is that there must be, and I must believe that there is as a Christian Buddhist, a spark of the divine in everyone. Sometimes that spark only manifests itself in an individual's love for a single thing. Sometimes a person radiates love for the whole world.
In Mockingbird we were set up to believe that Atticus was a saint, the best, someone we could have to dinner without fear of a bad discussion at the table. In Watchman we find out not so much. Does that ruin my life? I don't think so.
It's a book, people. A work of literary fiction.
Read it. Find out what life is really like. So another childhood dream bites the dust. Adulthood is for finding out all about reality. Adulthood is for changing, for learning forgiveness.
Adulthood is for creating new realities.
It's just a book, people. Summer reading.