Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame

This morning I started with "Come As You Are" and then listened to all of Thom Yorke's The Eraser. At first it was a weird juxtaposition - 14 years and a whole universe away from each other - but then the latter seduced me, utterly, as it always does.

I don't know what to tell you today. I wrote a longish post about the migraine I dealt with over the weekend, but I don't really feel good about posting it. In reading it over I'm happy with the product, but it doesn't have much to do with my purpose on this blog.

The editing that I mentioned in Saturday's post, with the darling-killings? I thought I got what killing your darlings was about, but I was ever so wrong. There were whole pieces of this story, passages of multiple paragraphs as well as one entire scene, that I wanted to leave in for the sake of saying what I wanted to say. I thought they served my point in writing the story. Not just things I was proud of having written, but things that I thought were essential to the story as I'd envisioned it.

Well, the story as I'd envisioned it wasn't working, and these passages were some of the reasons why. I had to toss them and redo the inner clockwork of the thing, and my own conception of it. It was kind of like performing amateur surgery on a beloved pet.

But now my pet is mobile and chipper and ready to play, instead of limping around inside a Cone of Shame. And having done this, I'm a lot less afraid of doing it with other stories. It'll be okay, now. More suffering transmuted into learning.

Nearly done with Dubliners, about 2/3 of the way done with Inside Scientology. I absolutely recommend the latter if you're interested in Scientology (and if you're not, I kind of want to know why; it's one of the most interesting subjects I know), but it gets quite harrowing about halfway through. As for Dubliners, I'm finding it a mixed bag. Certain stories I had to grit my teeth and keep reading through excessive boredom ("Ivy Day in the Committee Room"), and others I totally adored ("Counterparts"). I can hardly think of any books of stories that have been so varied in catching my regard.

However, I'd like to note that this is the second book of short stories I've read by a highly lauded Irish author (Edna O'Brien was the other) which portrays the Irish as a bunch of inveterate drunks. It bothers me, because I can't believe it's correct, and it's insulting and adds to a stereotype.

Happy Halloween. (Those rotten kids better not take all my mini Heath bars and Dum-Dums.)


Denise said...

Ha ha, "clockwork"! If that's not a pun, it should be.

Can't wait to read your revisions!

Btw, I have a brother in law who's Irish and revels in that stereotype...he's also a writer. Not sure what to conclude, but that's that.

Happy Halloween! Hope you still have some good candy left. =)

Katharine Coldiron said...

Not a pun - I was working on a different story, one not related to time. :)

I have ALL the candy left. We had zero trick-or-treaters, which actually made me quite sad.