November 6th, 2012


Revising the Revisions

I've done my civic duty and voted today. With the increasing popularity of early voting, you start to feel like some kind of procrastinating slacker if you wait to vote on election day. But in my case, voting on election day is actually more convenient. The polling place is closer to my house (about two blocks away), and since there are just two precincts in the polling place, there are likely to be fewer people there. With early voting, you can vote anywhere in the county, and there are only two sites in the city. I went to the library (the early voting location) during early voting, and the line went all the way through the library and out the door. They were saying it was nearly an hour wait. Today, it took me maybe 20 minutes, including walking to and from the polling place. They had a constant, steady flow of people, but the only waiting was to wait for them to deal with the person ahead of me. I discovered that I am the very last "S" entry in my precinct's voting register.

My polling place is an elementary school, and as I drew near, I thought there must be some election-day slaughter going on. There were all these horrendous, high-pitched screams. Then I got close enough to see that it was recess. Apparently, you can't have fun without screaming at the top of your lungs. I don't remember screaming like that when I played.

I continue to inch my way through the revisions. One of the difficulties of revising a book is divorcing myself from what I've already written. It's so tempting to want to just fix the words when what I really need to do is scrap a scene entirely. It usually takes at least three passes. First, I fix the words. Then I admit to myself that I need to change things, so I try to change things within what's already written, keeping some bits and scrapping others. Then I finally admit that it actually needs to go in a totally different direction, which means throwing it all out and starting over. I'm down to about a hundred pages to rewrite/revise, but I don't know how much of that will be starting from scratch and how much I can just edit and modify.

There was some minor distraction yesterday in that I felt compelled to clean my kitchen thoroughly. You see, I saw an ant. There was a picture going around Facebook a while ago that showed a house fully engulfed in flames. The caption said, "There was a spider. I panicked. I think it's gone now." This was like that, only with bleach-based cleaning products instead of fire. It's not that I'm afraid of ants. I just don't want them in my kitchen. It seems that this may have been a lone wanderer because I haven't seen more, and they definitely aren't in any of the obvious places for ant infestation, like the sugar bowl. On the up side, my kitchen is now mostly disinfected and scrubbed, and that makes it less likely that other ants will wander by.

I'm getting house cleaning urges, and some cleaning is necessary, but I must get this book done.