Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A few notes on revision

Well, I've pulled through. I've managed to get all the way through Daughters of the Pond and to make some much needed changes. I can't believe the number of times "once again" or "for a moment" or just the words slowly, gently, etc. were repeated. Maybe it's because I just wrote it in small segments and didn't remember the exact phrases I had already used about a bazillion times. Or maybe I just couldn't think of any better way to say it. There is something to be said for doing book revision more than a decade after the first draft. While I'm still attached to the story, I was much better able to be harsh with 17-19 year old me in order to straighten some things out.
I just have to add how much it always drove me crazy when the books I used to teach English in the Czech Republic would use the word "revise" in place of "review." Okay, I can accept the fact that this is the word used in British English, but it was one of those differences that always wore on my nerves. Sorta like "have got." It always worked it's way up under my skin and gave me the shivers.
As a little report on the progress of life, I've managed to make it on the early morning school walk three days in a row now. The kids don't have school the next couple of days, so we'll see what I manage to do for the rest of the week, but I was pretty proud of me for that. Today was all about worm carnage. It was rainy and gicky and the worms had fled to the sidewalk. Little thin ones, enormous fat ones, all strewn willy-nilly. There were so many that it was hard not to step on them if you lost your concentration for a moment.
I was holding Rowan's hand and he was intent on finding the biggest and fattest one. He picked it up excitedly, telling me how it kept trying to wiggle and squiggle out of his hand. He had big plans for this worm. He was going to take it to the bridge we have to cross and throw it into the swollen creek so it could have a "wild death." I wasn't too sure this was the best idea he ever had, but I wasn't exactly going to pull the worm out of his hand either.
The worm, it seemed, had other ideas. After maybe five minutes he opened his little fist to check on it and noted that he had been slimed. There was white goo all over his hand. His first reaction was to fling the worm into a little puddle by the sidewalk, but his mom stopped him and he hung it in a bush instead. Not sure how better that was, but Julie seemed to think it would be able to find it's way down better than it could have swum out of the raging creek. Oh the joy of kids.
After two days of making dinner in a row, there are enough leftovers tonight for that to suffice, and I'm definitely glad for that. It gave me more time to really focus on getting this book all finished up. Now I get to start the ever so thrilling task of trying to find a publisher. I remember the futile experience I went through back when I was a Junior in High School, and must confess I don't look forward to this very much, but you just never know. Maybe good old DOP will make it to the best seller list ;) Never fear, I'm still on the search for a day job...
One final note, last night Mark and I watched "Demolition Man." If you've never seen it, it's a futuristic crime/action flick from 1996 with Sylvester Stalone and Wesley Snipes. My main reason for bringing this up is because there is a huge thing about Taco Bell in it. Mark had seen this movie many times when he was younger, and since Taco Bell isn't the international superstar that McDonalds is, he had no knowledge of it except as portrayed in this movie. If you're in the need of a good laugh, just imagine Taco Bell as your image of American fine dining. Ha! But I love it all the same!

No comments: