Time out...

I am relegating myself to the corner today for having – once, again --broken the rule of not writing long comments on other people’s blogs (sorry, Gina). I think my problem lies in not knowing the difference between a comment and a discussion. Hmmm…

At any rate, I have this wonderful discussion going on in my brain (blogs are not discussion boards – I have a feeling the same rules apply to them as dinner parties) so I will have to discuss it with all of you, here, instead, or I won’t get anything else done today.

“You mean you’ve been gone for months and all we’re going to do is discuss blog comments? When are you coming home?”

“Quiet, Lilly, at least she’s here.”

I believe the topic was editing, and the way in which different people go about it. At first, I didn’t think there was any particular way I went about it, but looking a bit closer, I find that there is. So, in a nutshell, here it is…

For me, there are two types of editing that apply to my fiction. The first is mechanical, and I do it like housework: picking things up as they catch my eye, so I don’t trip over them later. The second type is more complicated because it is for content, and done best only after I have collected all those serendipity discoveries along the way that add a more believable light and reason to the story itself. It isn’t until I am in possession of all of these gems that I can go back and place them into the hollow spots in order to clarify the original pattern.

Until then, I treat a hollow spot rather like a zero: its value lies in holding the place for what I will discover later… based on the amount that has happened before. But the time element – that percolating mysterious infusion factor must always be there in between the inspiration (rough draft) and the translation (content editing). Without that, I am still too close and emotionally involved (and hearing too many voices) to trust my own better judgment. Personally, I do not have the capacity to listen and translate at the same time.

But that’s me.

Oh, and I too, have a point at which I am thoroughly convinced that everything I have written is crap (another element brought up in the original blog). It comes somewhere between three-quarters of the way through and the end. Which I can only handle by considering it a form of postnatal depression, where one’s only hope lies in knowing that it will eventually pass. And it always does.

In summing up I must say that – unlike editing the work of others (which becomes more professional with experience) – self-editing can only be perfected by a better understanding of one’s personal experiences along the writer’s road, and a growing faith in what works best for them in striving toward their own particular destiny.

There. That pretty much covers it.

Now, how is everybody?

What’s happening on the farm today: I have not been home for months, but Pops has made a quick trip back to fix fences, get in firewood, and generally get ready for winter. And thanks to our many advances in modern communication, I know that there is a warm fire crackling in the stove right now, and there will be a delicious pot of cabbage and potatoes for dinner tonight. Me? I’m in a rainy, blustery storm moving across San Francisco Bay…

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