Tuesday, August 7, 2012

that time again

Revisions kind of take over my life. I think about them while I’m brushing my teeth, and then while I’m making coffee. When I’m eating lunch, or walking to and from home. Even when I’m in the middle of a conversation, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, If I amalgamated both of those scenes, would that solve the problem of x? I smile at something that's being said, and then wonder, If I take out y, then is that scene even building towards anything? I make sure to nod a few times, because that’s polite, and quickly sink back inside myself, And maybe I should change this person’s name to…

It really is better for everyone if I just stay indoors during revisions. Actually, Zadie Smith sums it up nicely here:

In the middle of a novel, a kind of magical thinking takes over. To clarify, the middle of the novel may not happen in the actual geographical centre of the novel. By middle of the novel I mean whatever page you are on when you stop being part of your household and your family and your partner and children and food shopping and dog feeding and reading the post—I mean when there is nothing in the world except your book, and even as your wife tells you she’s sleeping with your brother her face is a gigantic semi-colon, her arms are parentheses and you are wondering whether rummage is a better verb than rifle. The middle of a novel is a state of mind. Strange things happen in it. Time collapses. - That Crafty Feeling

So. I probably won’t be around much this month. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this fantastic poet who I met at Hillside. Her name is Winona Linn and her poetry reads like "confessional autobiographical fiction". Her poems are incredibly moving.

See you on the other side!

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