Edits on the Doorstep
Rhetorical question unless you leave a life update below. Pretty Common these days, RQ's.
How you doin’, people say on the street, meaning ‘Hey’.
Or maybe they just wait and look at my face to see how I respond, and by that gauge decide how I’ve answered their question.
A wordless question then?
How am I doin’?
I’m wearing a holey shirt on a Thursday, which means I’m at home. There’s a REJECT NEW SEASONS Workers' Rights sign bobbing back and forth in the lawn of the woman across the street. She’s had a baby, thanks for asking. Or someone in her house has.
Was about to start talking about the cookies I gave her like eight months ago. (They were chocolate chip, fresh, about eight, fairly thick). That’s far enough off-topic for a science fiction story though, and we ain’t writin’ science fiction, is we, buddy!
Of course we ain't! There’s no science in Ugo!
You tell me. I have no idea what's in Ugo.
Grapes! Gremlins! Golems!
Johnny said I might have to edit the golem out. Maybe too experimental for what came before, and if Stephen Graham Jones’ advice holds true, you have to be true to what came before, before all else.
That make sense? You can’t introduce a golem on page 250, baby! Not if there’s been no prepwork for golems to date.
So it might go, the golem.
But reading back over it now, over Johnny’s edits, I wanted to say I love golems because this one might go.
I love animated constructs!
And that’s the news, and the update, really, via offhand anecdote:
Johnny read the book three times, in three different colors, and mailed me my revisions. You don't just get friends like these! (They're granted to you when you reach level nine, as long as you roll an 18 or higher).
He gave me an A+!
Though I think the grade is just because I finished something.
Here’s Johnny’s response to the text. I don’t think he’d balk if I shared:
- I read Ugo thrice. The first reading, I was lost, dumbfounded, upset, and grouchy. The second reading, I deciphered, extracted, acclimated, and understood the plot--mostly. The third reading I saw the beauty, structure and finesse. Let’s not forget my favorite writer is Leo Tolstoy, who equals A + B = C. Hence, get me swimming up to my neck in tricky narratives like Faulkner, Joyce, Infinite Jest, G.’s Rainbow, Woolfe, and the same progression occurs: gaping mouth, consternation, crazy eye, retreat, return, determination, understanding, illumination.
Then he has a bunch of notes about shoddy dialogue and dangling modifiers. Those are for me.
But he closed with the following encouragement!:
- If anything, I’d change part II, fix typos, organize dialogue, think about these suggestions lightly, omit redundant sentences, and print the book.
A bit of a ‘how-does-it-feel’, since I think that’s part of the fun of Kickstarter.
Looking at someone else’s (fantastic, crucial) edits to your text, feels a bit like someone very good at what they do came into my 2nd floor apartment and said:
- Look, I’d suggest you replace your bed, and replace that couch. Also: sweep or something.
The couch is sagging in its cushions and the bed is creaky during 'those times'. They’re both comfortable of course. But I’ve known they were big and wrong for where they were for how long, metaphorically speaking?
Excuses begin to spring to mind.
(But couldn’t I just put a blanket on one, Herr Decorator?)
And sound rejections are already in place.
(Not if it’s going to be a good apartment Feng Shui, Mr. Eric)
Well, I knew it was coming, so now, with the following in mind—that it’s totally doable—that I’m physically able—that the doorway is wide enough to get the couch out—that the bed comes apart—that Goodwill is a bit of a haul, but I bet I could borrow Larry’s SUV and get them over there—with those factors and some intimidation in mind, I set out to clean this thing up.
My deadline in my calendar says September 10th.
Just about a month away. I think that’s totally doable.
Any interest in helping?
Please pick a day between now and then and send me an email or a text that just says ‘Don’t forget to edit today.’
(303 818 5901 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
I won’t be upset—in fact I’d be downright prodded. Call me Io, baby.
Your prod or poke may seem like the smallest thing, but it’s sort of like putting a penny in the pony, you dig? You be sitting there in a Walgreen’s like ooo weee.
Cool. Prod and poke to victory.
Matt’s got the cover on his mind. September 10th. I feel it.
-eeeeee double you.
Ah, and I know some of you just come for a picture of Lys so here she is, looking good camping:
And it's been on fire here too, so here's her taking a picture of the way the sun looks or doesn't look when on fire: