Monday, November 06, 2006

Where I've been, what I've been doing

So sorry for my absence over the past few days. I've been deep in the thick of manuscript revisions, faced with the daunting realization that the time is coming where my Work In Progress will be taken from me to be printed and bound, and I will not be allowed to fix any of those dangling modifiers or sentences that sound pretty but don't quite make sense.

In the midst of this red-pen editing frenzy, I've had some ups and downs.

On the down side, I've reached the awkward conclusion that it was probably a mistake, in my first phone conversation with my Editor since early last summer, to mention, a.) that I hadn't looked at my manuscript in over two weeks because of a death in my family; and b.) Elizabeth Wurtzel.

The first bit of news she took with aplomb; my Editor is a total sweetheart. But forgetting that she's also a businesswoman, I launched into a joke about how Prozac Nation author Wurtzel moved into her editor's office when she hit a rough patch in her second book, sleeping on a daybed and having Chinese take-out and cocaine delivered directly to the security desk in the front lobby. (I'm not making this up or spreading ugly rumors, Wurtzel herself tells this story in her third memoir, More, Now, Again). Anyway, my Editor doesn't know me all that well yet; I suspect it wasn't the best idea for me to plant the idea that in addition to any support and hand-holding I might need to finish my manuscript, she might also be called on to provide room, board and recreational drugs. She laughed at my joke, but I found myself scrambling to assure her that Excedrin is the only chemical crutch I lean on while writing (and even that will be lessened now that I finally found a store that stocks humidifiers on a shelf a 5'4" girl can reach.) We ended on a good note, but I worry her heart skips a beat now whenever she gets a call announcing a visitor in the lobby.

The up side of my total immersion writing days was the purchase of a new gadget. Now you've all heard me rave about my hair dryer (say it with me: TOURMALINE IONIC POWER!) and I know it's not the done thing to define our quality of life by the stuff we buy. Well, that's all well and good, except for the singular joy I'm getting from my latest acquisition: A Swingline "Light Touch" desktop hole puncher (I got it cheaper than this at Costco, but that link wouldn't work). Honestly, it's the most fun you can have while waiting for the Excedrin to kick in. I keep my memoir manuscript in two small binders for portability (Binder #1 - "The Sucky Years;" Binder #2 - "Thank God Things Got Better"). When I print new pages, I need to punch in holes to fit them in. We had a hole punch, but it handled - I'm not even exaggerating here - two sheets at a time. Suffice to say the prospect of major revisions was a bit daunting. Not anymore. I printed 74 new pages this morning, and had them punched and in the binder in three piles. That's more than the promised 20 pages at a time!!! Yippee :)

Doesn't take much to keep me happy.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure your editor knew it was a joke :) People who actually do that sort of thing probably don't give warning; they probably just show up assuming this is part of the process.

I'm 5'1. I could write a book about all the things I can't reach. On Saturday, I sat in a chair in Borders with my computer on my lap (due to no available tables as usual) and my feet didn't touch the ground. Needless to say, balancing a laptop while your feet are dangling above the carpet is highly uncomfortable and it leaves your computer angled at a strange slant. I ended up getting a step stool to put under my feet. The joys of shortness. Don't even get me started on cropped pants.

Glad you're enjoying your hole-puncher. Why buy 3-hole punch printer paper when you can de-stress punching your own holes?

Sarakastic said...

Ha the editor thing is so Lorelai. I never feel bad that most people don't get my jokes, because on the show, the only person who laughs at her is Rory. Everyone at home finds that humor hysterical. Congratulations! You've achieved a new level of Gilmore-ness congrats!

LEstes65 said...

Toys, practical or otherwise, are so fun. I think I would LOVE that hole punch. That and a high-powered stapler that can staple your whole manuscript in one shot. Yah baby. Gimme toys from HomeDepot, OfficeMax or the like. Love it. Glad you're having fun.

Anonymous said...

I find a perplexing amount of joy is the littlest things too. My husband thinks I'm a kook sometimes. I discover something new (something, of course, that he already knows), and I'm walking around for an hour going, "That's fantastic!"

b/sistersshoes said...

Trish ~ you are just adorable and I delight in reading what you post.

I can't wait to get MY new blow dryer, as I have written it down

WHEeeeeeee I'm easily made happy too :D

hugs & love,
xox Darlene

Swishy said...

I'm totally sitting here going, "Why have I never thought of hole-punching my printouts and putting them in a binder?" Because, you know, it makes so much more sense to carry around 300 loose pages. DUH!

Karitown said...

That is too funny. I'm 5'4 also;)) And I hear you about needing a humidifier. This dry heat is killing me. And I always hole punch my printouts. Or staple each chapter. I don't have the energy to sort through it all if I ever dropped it.

red sun said...

Glad you got the hair dryer... hmmm... might need to invest in one myself. My hair has been unruly lately!

Amanda Brice said...

I'm sure your editor knew it was a joke.

And I must say that I can't wait until the bound and printed version of your manuscript goes on sale because you're hilarious, so I imagine it will be, too!