Sunday, October 31, 2010

What were you supposed to be

Seems appropriate for this to be a Halloween post. Or is it? I realized last night at a party (if you knew me, you'd be shocked) how little I knew about the event. I know it comes from Hallow's Eve, and it happens at night, so I guess the real time to have done this would've been last night, among all the ghouls and goblins and such. Or maybe it's like Christmas and there's an eve, then an actual day. I digress.

It turns out the blood wasn't real. I opened the file from the editor and actually guffawed at all the red and spiraled back to a time when I was small and when sitting in a desk my feet didn't touch the floor (again, if you knew me, you'd be shocked). But then, I took a closer look, allowed to me by a healthy amount of rejection and criticism over the years, and realized a few things. 1) Microsoft Word track changes randomly picked red; when I made my own changes later they were in blue, and when I re-opened the file the editor's changes were in blue and mine were magenta. 2) A majority of the feedback was positive, and all of it was constructive. I learned a lot about the things I do in longer writings that are not so helpful. Moving modifiers and clauses around ended up creating easier understanding for some of my sentences, and all it took was different, trained eyes thoroughly inspecting my many pages. And finally 3) the editor thought it was good. Some of the comments had nothing to do with grammar or pacing or sense, they were simply compliments.

I had ten days to read through it, make my own changes and send it back. I did it in two, spending so many hours on the first day trying to get ahead so I could slack off this weekend that I found myself in a completely different place. I was hungry for the kind of feedback I was getting, the kind that I wasn't getting and shouldn't have expected from my friends, perhaps even the writing group. I realized that there just might be a difference between writers who edit and editors who write. The editor informed me that she would be going over my changes this weekend and if everything worked out, would be sending it on to the copy editor who would be in charge of the next step of the process, and that whatever the case, she would be informing me of what was going on and what to expect. Now I understand what some of the major differences between self-publishing are and going with a publisher, even a smaller one.

And I never had to step a foot into a court room. My lawyer, provided to me by the insurance company, put on her most frightening mask and scared the plaintiff's lawyer into convincing his clients to take the settlement. I was extremely happy, first because I wouldn't have to testify (my lawyer shared with me the fact that I tend to give too much information when speaking) and second because my attorney was for me and not against me. Over this  whole past several weeks, she is probably the scariest thing I came across, and she was smiling and laughing whenever we interacted.

Otherwise, the year creeps on. I fear that at least one of my resolutions is going to fall unaccomplished. I think I've also decided to take the GRE, and see what the test thinks of my chances in graduate school. A new job would be in order, otherwise. Or maybe regardless. I changed my status on facebook to "Perhaps next year maybe I will probably have a costume." I'm thinking I'll go as the future. Scary, right? I know.

1 comment:

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