Friday, May 10, 2013

Day One: The Play-by-Play

It’s 9:33 a.m. now, according to my computer, which is still (in that metaphysical way that sometimes things are two places at once) in Maryland. I, on the other hand, am somewhere over the Midwest. Ish. Thinking back, I think this may be the first time I have flown on my own since I was about eleven and the flight attendants had to sort of babysit me. It’s kind of weird only managing my own stuff through security and not having someone to leave my suitcase with while I go for a snack.

It’s been a semi-uneventful morning. Which is to say that I did, in fact, walk into the men’s bathroom. But only once. But there was no one there, so I wasn’t horrifically embarrassed. And the urinals quickly apprised me of my mistake. (Although, I admit, my first thought was, “Why are there urinals in the women’s restroom? That’s a pretty shoddy update of an old building layout, if I do say so myself.”) Also, my daughter did throw up the bacon I so thoughtfully offered her for breakfast. But she waited until I was long gone and my hubby and the kids were almost home from dropping me off at the airport. So I didn’t have to deal with it.*

I finished reskimming Robin McKinley’s Beauty, a feat I have resisted for years as I worked on my own version of the tale. I am both dismayed and relieved: dismayed to find a number of things that feel eerily similar, relieved to find that my story explores some completely different avenues that I think will be intriguing and satisfying to many a fan of both McKinley’s version and the “original.”**

I have only thought of three things so far that I should have done while I was on the ground with internet access. Fortunately two will wait and the third does not require the internet. It’s the third item, however, that has driven me to my current level of procrastination and also given me flashbacks of all those college papers I spewed out at the last second possible.

Somehow I managed to miss the fact that I was supposed to bring a 3–5-page*** synopsis of my novel to one of my master classes tomorrow. Oops. So now I get to write it while I’m in the air over amber waves of grain or whatever else is down there. I actually wish I did have the internet for this. Then I could obsessively look up what I need to write in a synopsis. Or at least find out if it should be double or single spaced (hello, college flashback!). Funny how I took a conference class on this last fall and thought, “Cakewalk.” And now here I am thinking, “Only if the cakes are made out of chum and the players are sharks.” I wonder what kind of music would be playing for that cakewalk? I bet my husband can think of something appropriate.

It is now 9:52, metaphysically speaking. It is also, sort of, 8:52 and 7:52. Whatever the time, I’m headed back to the grind.

Whew. It is now 11 a.m. (unless you are a cat in a box). I have just completed a first draft of the synopsis. It is four pages, and it is dry. Brittle dry. Desert dry. Tumbleweeds-have-just-rolled-across-it dry. Is it supposed to be this dry? I don’t know. I am looking forward to asking the Googoracle later. Also, I am nearly certain now that it should be double spaced. That means I’m looking at cutting out half of what I have just written. Sigh. It’s 11:03, and I’m off to work again.

11:22. Only now much closer to 9:22. And not much closer to the correct number of pages. Chopping is hard. I’m down by half a page now (single spaced). Two-ish more to go. And it’s time to turn off the compy. Good-bye, compy!

7:16 p.m./9:16 p.m. My brain is mush. As evidenced by the fact that at first I subtracted two hours from my computer’s time (9:16) and ended up with 6:16.

* The hubby should probably be nominated as some sort of saint for all the barf he’s cleaned up since we got married--not just because he cleaned it up, but because he’s so often cleaned it up so I didnt have to. That's some serious love.

** I say “original” loosely since that’s not really a cut-and-dry topic.

*** Oh how I long for my Chicago manual right now! What would Chicago say about such a cumbersome hyphenated word? It’s an adjective, it has an en dash already in it, but then it needs a hyphen because it’s an adjective! Do I hyphenate? Use another en dash? Heck, why not proceed to a full-on em dash? Actually, I feel fairly confident that the correct option in this case is to reword. But I liked the conundrum so much that I’m keeping it. Even though the current hyphenation is most definitely incorrect.

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