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.