The writer has decided that her life has gone to the dogs and Frankie thinks this is a very good thing. However, the writer tells Frankie we must be careful. There is this cat, you see, called The Duchess of Yowl, who might object to a whole month of dogs.
Thankfully, the writer is sensibly not a cat person. Well, yes, one of the main characters in her fantasy book takes the shape of a black cat called Sariel but that’s craziness. However, in honor of Halloween, Frankie will allow this to pass. Every cat should have its night of death and dismemberment and chocolate which is poisonous to dogs. So let the cats have their fun. Frankie will be hiding with a good book and maybe a bone.
The writer says the world is all going stinky and so it is only fit to fill the month with dogs. Frankie knows one things. Dogs can save the world. They know how to love unconditionally and ask very little in return. In fact, getting a human outside for a walk does the human as much good as it does the dog.
Cats, on the other hand, do nothing that is healthy for humans. In fact, Frankie knows that cats are plotting to eat their humans. That’s really what all the purring is about and that is why Frankie is afraid of cats. That and the claws. And cats would not bother to save the world even if they could. They are trying to take over the world and impose feline law. Humans will not like that and it will be worse for dogs. Have you heard the world domination plots of the Duchess of Yowl? Scary stuff. So the writer has agreed that November will be for the dogs.
Mondays require early mornings. I don’t like mornings unless I am crawling into bed after writing all night. Unfortunately, when Monday rolls around, if I stayed up all night, I am paying for it and crawling to work with a head pounding. Cup of coffee mandatory or I do not make it all the way to my desk. Anyone talks to me before I am fully caffeinated and I make the evening news.
Come Tuesday, all bets are off. I can’t fathom that there is still three more mornings where I must minimize stink, cover all my jiggly bits, and drive a heavy piece of metal at high rates of speed down a highway in a partially comatose state where I arrive at work at the school district and make the software run. It’s too much.
And inevitably when I get there, people are smiling. WTF? Smiling? The sun’s not even up yet and it’s not pay day. Weird. People exist that are happy about the whole morning thing. Maybe they are fictional villains in my next masterpiece. That could be arranged. You see where this is going?
By Wednesday, I am dead sure I have died and been sent to a purgatory right next to the doors of Hell. People are excited about “hump” day. There’s no humping going on. It is freaking Wednesday and complaints about the software are at a fervor pace by the middle of the week. The time machine is broken. Last time it was used, the 3rd graders were accidentally sent to the dark ages. They came back with the plague. And a dragon. We don’t use the time machine anymore. We all ended up with that damn plague, an entire school district with boils on their asses. What a disaster.
How many times will the poor folks in customer service have to explain that one? It could be worse. There could be no coffee. I am certain in Hell, there is no coffee and certainly no cake. Oh, I wish there was cake. Maybe by Thursday. Lemon cake. I’m allergic to chocolate now days. It sucks.
I have a few deeply held beliefs. The first is that God is love and love can change the world. The second is that we are God’s hands, his ears, his eyes, and if we want a better world, we have to make it. Not as some collective, not under some nebulous world government, but each of us, individually in our own way.
I sent this mug with the statement “Be the change you wish to see in the world” to my daughter her freshman year of college. She left it with me when she moved to New York. I am not the change I wish to see in the world. I am a dragon sleeping. And I know the world will never get better with twitter, angry voices, and people hating on one another and blaming entire groups for the actions of single individuals. And I want to burn them all down some days. And so I write. As much to save myself as to save my world.
My grandfather played football for Georgia Tech. All my life, I have attended football games with my dad and my brother. I must admit soccer has destroyed my patience with American football – all the stopping and starting and commercials. Nonsense. But I am a Tech fan. Have been since I was a baby. Can’t be helped. And Tech is plain awful this year. Awful. Terrible. They stink. Tech is like that – feast or famine. They lose at home to Duke after fumbling three times in two minutes and then they beat the snot out of Virginia Tech away. What is that?
I will admit being a Tech fan made being a Liverpool fan a walk in the park. At least, Liverpool sings even when the team is less than stellar. Liverpool rocks this year so they will help me endure Tech’s alarming short-comings. And honestly, Liverpool has had seasons like the one Tech is currently playing. Beat the big teams, lose to the bottom of the table.
At least I have a great cup for the whole Tech thing. And I am ignoring them until they stop stinking. But memories – so many memories of being at Grant Field with my family cheering them on through both great and terrible seasons. A Thursday night game away – and a Saturday without them. There’s Liverpool. I’ll watch that and then two chapters to edit today – 10th and 11th. Pushing my way through.
In my day job, I work on deadlines all the time. And I always meet them. I am really good about it. However, I have never set a deadline for my writing. I told myself that deadlines would curtail my creativity. And I proved that to myself time and again.
I think I was wrong. I think I may have wasted 4-5 years that I could have been published and agented because I made so many excuses for not writing. Also, I think I feared letting myself go debut because after the debut, I will have to write on deadlines. I see several friends doing it. So now I am trying to prove I can write on a deadline.
Tonight, I have a slight headache, lots of life things are stressing me the hell out, and I really do not feel like writing but here I am. 8th chapter to edit. I can do it and then I can sleep. And tomorrow is Friday. So I’ll say a little prayer and back to it.
This is not a cup for coffee. I had so much earlier that I have had to turn to a special brew to offset the nausea and panic. I have not written anything useful since Saturday. And Friday was a loss due to my on-going medical problems – a four hour outpatient procedure that resulted in a lot of post-operative pain. But hey, I’ve lost a lot of weight and luckily, I had the weight to spare. However, I am losing a lot of time as well and that makes me feel even less well.
I am determined to finish this book. During my day job, I set a schedule to get through the last of the line edits. One chapter a night, two on non-work days until I am done. I will then print out the whole thing and read it out loud to see how it flows, fix that, then off I go. That’s it. Time to let go and see what response this gets in the afterglow.
I had done six chapters already. I am half way through a 7th chapter which I must finish tonight. There are 35 chapters in total. We will see how this goes. Revision is where I am most creative. Editing, however, is like pulling teeth. It hurts. Sneaky homonyms, creepy commas, continuity debacles galore, oh my…
I really appreciate the few blog readers I have. However, I am content to simply write the blog as a way of keeping me disciplined. It is like a way of holding me accountable for writing something, anything every day. Or in this case, editing a chapter at random.
The writer has been a pain since she woke up Sunday and proclaimed that her book is bad. Frankie is concerned. The writer is whining and grumpy because the writer is not doing the things that make her happy. Frankie knows that writing at either the stand up desk or the pub table in the spare room with Frankie at her feet are the best thing for the writer. Why does she never listen to the pug?
Now it is the middle of the week, which is not too different than the beginning or the end, and the writer is still spiraling. However, Frankie thinks the bleeding has stopped. The writer packs up her favorite pens and notebooks and tells Frankie she can fix this. She is not giving up. Not ever, that Frankie should not worry. And then the writer leaves.
Oh, the pug wants her routine restored and her bed (the writer calls its a couch) restored to her. The writer gets in the way of her favorite position during her evening nap. Hopefully the writer will return to her desk or pub table tonight. Maybe. Frankie will discuss it with her walker at lunch time.