I'm starting to feel like I'm getting my groove on. The secret project is going okay, I came up with a good and sad idea in my dream last night to supplement a story I'd started tentative plotting on, and I'm on task for assembling a submission and pitch for the Monstrous project.
Also, last night I revised the ugly story. I'd been putting this off, because the revisions I knew I needed to do seemed like they would add several hundred words, and I wanted the thing to stay excessively lean and mean. I had to balance out the narrator to make him slightly less of a monster, and I had to do some explaining, which I hate doing in stories. No matter what, I always feel like I'm doing it wrong, whether at too much length or too much subtlety, or putting it in the wrong place, or using the wrong types of words, or whatever.
Amazingly, when I was done with my revisions, I'd only added 150 words. This morning I added another 100, which are also okay with me, and the thing is still plenty lean and really, really mean. I don't know if I'm actually finished with the story, but the revisions improved it a lot, which is nice.
I got three rejections in the last week. One of them indicates to me that a story needs to be retired; it's just been rejected too many times and I'm tired of screwing with it. (Yo writers: when do you decide to retire a story from trying to get it published? Is there some point, some rejection, some thing that tells you it's time?) Another one just needs me to research another market at which to try it, because I know it's worth publishing. Ugh. Don't wanna.
Speaking of don't wanna, the thing I have not done is reopened KUFC to write on it. I had hoped to do this during November - every day during November, actually - and there are a lot of piddly little reasons why I haven't. None of them are really any good, but my brain seems to have put its foot down on the matter. Hopefully there will be more on this as it develops. I really don't want a stalemate between me and this book.
I'm still pushing away at my poetry experiment (namely Kat Reads Poetry Without Giving Up In Frustration). I finished Louise Erdrich's Baptism of Desire yesterday, which sounds as if it's a cheesetastic kind of racy and naughty, but isn't, is instead majorly potent stuff. I loved it, for the most part. Then I read about half of Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red and, I'm awfully sorry, I don't like it much at all. There are incredible sentences here and there but in general it's not for me.
In other news, I've started listening to an Andrew Johnson iPhone app before I go to bed each night. He's a Scottish hypnotherapist who has a dozen or so different mini-programs in the iTunes store to download, each focusing on some issue - quitting smoking, gaining confidence, public speaking, etc. At first I was very uncomfortable with a hypnosis tape, because all I could think about was that passage in Brave New World - "Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children" - but I listened to the program when wide awake prior to listening to it before going to sleep to make sure there aren't any "fly, my pretties"-type suggestions hidden in it. So far so good. The one I'm listening to every night right now is for procrastination, which has been a problem in ways both big and small for me over the last several months. It actually seems to be making a difference.
Speaking of which, I've got to get on with today. This blog isn't a tool for procrastination, but revising my posts into the ground is.