Going On

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book about a prisoner who uses a spoon or other small implement to chip away their rock or cement prison and eventually escape? I was thinking about that the other day as I was editing Entangled LEREs and realized, that’s not how it feels editing the second book in the Incomplete States series.

It also doesn’t feel like I’m struggling to move the needle. Nor does it feel like I’m climbing a mountain or swimming an ocean.

It feels pretty damn good.

I miss writing like crazy each day, truly. I resent, too, that it’ll take sooooo looong before these novels will be published. By ‘sooooo looong’, I mean like months or more. Yes, I’m indulging in some hyperbole to expose my natural impatience.

I’m not good at this persistent, slow stuff. I eat fast, drive fast, think fast, and talk fast. I like doing things fast. I like being intense and immersed.

But, I’m enjoying this leisurely editing and revising. I’m reading other books as I edit, novels that are best sellers or prize winners, prizes like the Man Booker, Peabody, and Pulitzer, or books by authors who won a Nobel Prize for Literature. I used to avoid reading such lofty others while I’m writing or editing. Correcting myself, I used to avoid reading most published literature while I was reading and writing because I often felt that my writing could never achieve such heights, and it depressed and demoralized me.

I’m more confident about it now. While I still enjoy and admire the aforementioned sort of books, I’m not cringing from my efforts when I go back and forth between the two. More often, when I find something special by someone else that I’m reading, I pause to understand the passage’s impact on me and explore what the author did and how they did it, hoping that I can learn how to do it.

The process has helped. I can see improvement in my writing. I sometimes find beauty or insights in my work that startles me.

Like many writers, I’ve found that writing is a progression. With a little talent and heavy loads of persistence and determination, we can improve what we’re revealing and how it’s revealed as we tell the stories that flow through us. This progression shines in the editing process. Further away from the fiery crucible of creativity where the flow is so intense, I can apply the lessons that I perceive. I’m more mindful. While I’m doing this, my appreciation for the diverse processes of writing/creativity and writing/editing/revising increases. As with many facets of our existence, it’s a spectrum.

Of course, on the obverse of this coin, when I read portions of my earlier published works, I cringe. There’s a plan afoot to edit and revise some of that stuff stirring in my head. What’s that? Don’t look back? You might have a point.

Time to resume editing like crazy.

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Infloofniac

Infloofniac (floofinition) – someone who can’t sleep unless their fur friend is with them.

In use: “She suffered infloofniac for weeks after her big Maine coon passed away. There was a hole where his big, floofy body had rested against her side, and she felt it every time she went to bed.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

Aretha Franklin’s death and the service held to honor her reminded me that I grew up in a privileged time and place. Pop, rock, soul, R&B, punk, psychedelic, rockabilly…these were just a few of the emerging sub-genres of music developing. Reaching audiences like me were aided by advances in the recording, duplicating, and broadcasting media. As people, we were forced in earlier eras to travel to bars, clubs, and other venues to enjoy performers’ offerings. Radio and television changed that, and the Internet has expanded that ability.

I was lucky. I had radios and television, food, a roof, decent schools, and relatively stable home life. I was lucky, too, because great producers, musicians, and entrepreneurs were bringing us the sounds. And I was lucky because there were people and groups like the Stones, the Who, the Supremes, CCR, Led, Santana, Aretha, Elvis, Stevie Wonder, the Jacksons and Osmonds, Eric Clapton, John Mayall…what a list could be made. But that’s what wikipedia is about.

I have my favorites. Guitar heroes and keyboard masters remain my weakness, but great voices and song-writers always turn my head, too. Or, give me a beat…yeah, you know.

Thinking of all that, and the riotous eternal summer that was my youth, I remembered Diana Ross & The Supremes. The catalog of their songs is stupendous, and their hits are cherished as classics of an era and the Motown Sound. Was it the end of the innocence, the beginning of the awakening, or the age of Aquarius?

Here is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, written by Ashford and Simpson, and recorded by many, but the cover streaming to me today is the one by “Diana Ross and the Supremes”. It’s powerful stuff to stream.

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