Friday, April 15, 2011

How editing can make you physically ill, and alternatively why this table might be a euphemism for my life.

I can’t edit here. The table isn’t clean. But I can’t edit there (points) because there lies the internet. Sparkly, shinny, and containing a million things that aren’t editing.

Normally I camp in front of the computer. Pen twirling in my left hand like a bad evil villain's mustache, 140 Characters or less being cranked out with my right as I brainstorm what went wrong.

Then I fix it.

I’m cleaning the table. I’ve used wood cleaner and I like the smell, but I don’t like how it reflects the light from the ceiling fan. I don’t like faux sunshine, but apparently I’m ok with fake lemon scent.

None of that matters though, because now the table is too clean.

I clutter it up with every pen I can find and half a dozen notebooks I’d kill to be writing something new in. It’s not enough.

I find a vase of half wilted flowers, and plop it down in front of my laptop. My laptop that has been denied network access. Petals fall onto the keys below, and I think for a second I could write a poem about that. About decaying purple petals—my mind fills with metaphors for light and death and I like it, I smile, and then I stop.

You know what I should be doing? Sending my full manuscript to Suzie Townsend. But I can’t even read past the first paragraph, and I have to read it again before I send it.

I can’t read past the first paragraph because the table is too clean. There are too many buts. It isn’t Monday, and I’ve already edited this book one time too many in the middle of the night.

Why can’t I just blame twitter? My kids? The coffee maker and its inability to know to make me caffeine via physic message? The butcher? The baker? The candlestick maker? !

Why does it have to be my fault? I’ve sent more full manuscripts to more agents that I am likely to ever admit in public. Trust me, I am a walking statistical impossibility.

It’s my fault, because I made it out to be my last chance. I can’t edit here, there are too many tears on table. There are too many thoughts on my mind, too many things I have to get over before tomorrow.

I read the second paragraph. I can edit here, because the words can take me away. The world dissolves at my feet and I don’t notice any buts.


Loralie Hall said...

Adore the euphemism - it reflects the honest frustration of things - and I hope the editing goes well

Karen said...

LOVE this! I think we BOTH may have a little ADD?? Yes, the reflection of the table is quite distracting when working on a book...

Now, NO MORE EMO. *cracks whip* There is plenty of time for emo after you hit enter on that email. (You do know I speak harshly out of love, right??) <3 <3 <3

Allison said...

Love this! <3

The Minnicks said...

I think we've all been in this situation about one thing or another. Greatness awaits! All that is required is you keep on doing what I'm sure you've done a million times before. Set it aside and get it done! ;) I'm sure you've already moved past this now, right? Good luck with the editing & let me know if I can be of any help.