In brief…

I have been writing all day. I mean ALL DAY. From home, since my downtown office shares a building with the Detroit Public Schools, and the Detroit Public School teachers are on strike, and while I am 100% in favor of the teachers, (and fyi, you can read the Free Press today to see which side DeVos takes, although you certainly will not be surprised), I still have a deadline and their (absolutely correct) chants of No Contract, No Work outside my window, constantly, is distracting.  Incidentally, the Free Press today also discusses how the students who aren’t in school right now because of the strike are missing out on vital test preparation, which just goes to show that the way we measure education is sorely remiss.  I think the incredible crowds of students showing up in support of their teachers with signs like “Honk if you love Detroit teachers” and “Reduce our class sizes now!” demonstrates the remarkable job our teachers have done already. But I digress. So, for some people working from home might mean a little more leniency in their day but I am under a huge, looming deadline and all working home for me means is the ability to stay in one position for a super-naturally long period of time (I’ve always had a tremendous ability to focus for long stretches – but once I’m interrupted I can rarely get in the zone again) and feel the slight beginnings of carpal-tunnel, so I think it’s time to call it the proverbial day and go for a run.  But first I thought I’d check to say that yes, my foul mood has lifted and I am feeling like my usual cheerful self again, which always happens if people leave me alone long enough to work and think and be, and I completed A Walk in the Woods which I found somewhat disappointing, perhaps because of my very strong conservationist background? I’m not sure. I felt some of his criticisms of our approach to protecting the environment sorely lacking in solutions, and found much of it a very sort of breezy attack on the way Americans interact with the environment and while he is certainly right when he writes about our problems, well, he approaches them from such an ivory tower point of view that I found myself skimming near the end out of irritation.  And then he doesn’t even complete the Maine portion of the hike! And yes I get to critique this because I grew up very connected with the outdoors and surrounded by true outdoorsmen, not someone who doesn’t even TRAIN before he leaves for the Appalaichan Trail, which I just spelled wrong but I’ve been spelling words like metalloproteinaise all day and I have no concept of vowels left.  I am one or two good reads away from finishing Empire Grill as well, which I am enjoying very much, although male narrators with lives that simply get carried away from them as though they have no will of their own, very Hemingway, bother me a little bit.  My next nonfiction read (this one from my stacks) is Paper Lion by George Plimpton, not sure what my next novel, from the library, will be quite yet.   My own novel is frustrating because just as I sent two chapters to my writing group I realized, well, shit, I should have started it from a different point entirely, this realization dawning after spending WAY too many hours on Miss Snark’s site, which I now recognize should be read daily and NOT all at once upon discovery, because then a writer realizes she is nothing if not trite.  And so now i don’t know if I should start the whole thing over again and use what I’ve written as flashback or just keep barreling forward with the whole chronological order in tact and save the rest for the first revision. And, let’s see, S. and I are not having pasta for dinner because we decided steaks sound better, and it looks like it is going to be a bright and beautiful autumn weekend here in Metropolitan Detroit, the kind that occur right before the leaves start to blaze and chimneys start to smoke,  and S. and I have a tiny road trip planned with friends tomorrow, so I think I’d better go for a run and pick up dinner make it look like I didn’t spend most of the day in my pajamas, writing words like protease.

My wrists are actually tingling. Yep, must get off the computer.  Happy Friday. Happy weekend.

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4 Responses to In brief…

  1. Dorothy W. says:

    Glad you’re feeling better! I got annoyed by the breeziness of Bryson’s book as well — “breeziness” is a good way to put it. His portrayal of southerners got to me particularly.

  2. LK says:

    I did the same thing with a novel — 60 pages into it realized that the story started on page 61. That threw me so off my game I haven’t returned since. So, maybe just keep gunning. Revision is always there waiting in the wings.

    Bryson probably wangled an advance based on the idea and then had to wrap up the book after bailing on Maine. I felt the same way you did…a bit cheated, a bit bait-and-switch.

  3. kj says:

    Stopped by to say howdy. You’re blending the personal and factual, emotion and thought seamlessly these days. You MUST write tons in your head every day. Anyway – nothing more to add, just my normal pat-on-the-back and WAY TO GO, COURTNEY! Keep me posted.

  4. litlove says:

    Writing all day is incredibly hard on the shoulders, I find. I always have them hunched up about my ears, and this is not skilfull. I wish I could run, as I’m sure that I’d feel better for exercise, but I don’t know how people do it. I always feel completely pointless when I don’t have a fixed somewhere to go. Still, I hope you get a chance for more pleasurable writing over the weekend, and that the student chanters, fun and committed as they may be, give you some headspace to think in!

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