Historical Dizziness: a study in flying backwards around the Earth to reverse time

There has been a lot of revising in my life lately. That sounds metaphorical, but I really mean it on a literal level: working with words, and re-working them. Despite all the world’s platitudes about “murdering your darlings” (i.e. cutting pretty lines to make a work cohere better overall) I find it very difficult to discard text once I’ve written it. This probably because I spend so much time crafting each line, even when I’m not sure whether a paragraph, page, or scene really fits in an overall piece. When you spend a lot of time shaping something, it’s hard to throw it away.

That said, today I found myself trying to shoehorn the gestures of an old scene into a new one – and it just doesn’t work. If all the small moves of your original scene are functioning on the right level, you don’t need to write a new one. And if you try to shove those moves into something different – well, sometimes it happens. But too often it’s like hanging meat on the wrong bones. Saggy, sad. A little bit shameful.

Anyway, other things:

1. I have a review in the new issue of Lemon Hound. The book is Jocelyne Saucier’s And the Birds Rained Down, translated by Rhonda Mullins and published by Coach House Books. Hopefully it (the review) is enjoyable. (The book is, very much so.)

2. This morning I spent awhile – probably longer than was wise – combining a bunch of little character sketches into one document. I’ve never tried uploading a second image into a post before, so we’ll see how it looks!

sketches 6-12


(Edit: Hmm. Tiny. Click on it for a larger view.)