Friday, April 6, 2012

Jigsaw or Jackhammer?



Once upon a time there was an essay. It was an essay of moderate proportions, just simmering around in the brain pan. It begged to be written. Apparently, it did not mind if it was to be written poorly, it just needed to be written. So written it was. Now it sits. And sits. And sits.

I am frustrated with the editing process at this point and it is consuming far too much of my creative chutzpah. Do I go in with a jigsaw and carve around the parts I like, then try to piece them back together to paint a better picture? Or should I just go in with a jackhammer and use the leftover chunks of concrete to make an interesting border for a flower bed? The beauty of computers is that I can do both and not really lose anything in the process. But, process it is, and as much a part of the creative process as writing it all down to begin with. Process. I should say that a few more times. Process. Excuse me while I process for a bit.
I hate ham.
Photo credit: 
gracey from morguefile.com 

Part of a cat's fight or flight instinct includes grooming itself to restore equilibrium and assess the damages after the incident is over. Sometimes, though, with a huge surge of adrenalin, these reactions can get scrambled and the cat will just get overwhelmed and sit and groom itself first. This happens to humans, too. That's why we find ourselves laughing at funerals, crying during sex, or buying a ten pound ham after meeting with a real estate agent.

It occurred to me the other day that there is an alarmingly large population that has spent a number of formative hours crammed into the back seat of a Ford Escort.

My daughter told me the other day that the average person swallows about six spiders a year while they are sleeping. This doesn't freak me out. What freaks me out is chicken nuggets.

I cannot stop watching Morgan Freeman in old Electric Company skits.

There comes a time in every girl's life when she realizes she is a tedious bore.

I've had to wear my grownup pants far too often this week. My grownup pants are going to get holes in them just like all my other pants if I'm not careful.

I am short circuiting here. It's like that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where C3P0 gets abducted by Lando and his evil C3P0 and they dismantle him and his eyeball is all hanging out and he's spouting nonsense. I need a Chewbacca to come along and fix me with tools from his mysterious pouch and then yell at me in that pre-verbal yowling. Or I could just edit my essay. Hey! Maybe I could get Chewbacca to edit it and then I could market my pre-verbal yowling to Wookie literary journals.

Does someone want to be my Wookie?





25 comments:

  1. I... I ... I'm going to..
    It's late. Bedtime for. Maybe if I come back tomorrow, I'll understand.

    Wookie? Lando? Too much googling to do. Good night.

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    1. Oh honey. It's all nonsense. Don't sweat it. It barely makes sense to me.

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  2. If by wookie you mean your hairy sex toy, well then... never mind :) [too much? too soon?]

    Your brain is crying out for help, sweetheart, you need to unplug it. The best advice someone gave me about writing was: Brainstorm, get it all out, then sleep on it. I hope it helps. Can't wait to read the essay that begged to be written.

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    1. HA! Welcome, Megan! Yes, I will be unplugging shortly. Thank you for stopping by and I'm somewhat apologetic that it's on a day when my brain is falling out. Feel free to peruse my somewhat saner archives.

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  3. I never was comfortably sure eXactly what a Chewbacca was, but I realize now that I am reaLLy glad I am not a Bacca, whatever that might be as weLL.

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    1. Oh, the ham - real estate agent line cracked me up! I prefer sausage to ham, eXcept in situations that demand ham. So be on the lookout for situations where someone is asking your advice but you have nothing to give, just reply (loudly), "That sounds like a ham demander!!!" - that should create enough diversionary confusssssion to escape.

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    2. I will be using this as a diversionary tactic and conversation starter (and ender) from now on.
      HAM DEMANDER!

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    3. I am literally L.O.L'ing.

      HAM DEMANDER!

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  4. Whenever I think about going to look at houses, lawyers, and mortgages, I feel a very strong urge to go to a park and knit instead. Or maybe take up running. I totally understand the ham. Everyone assures me that this scrambled-ness resulting from so many big decisions all at once will fade; I don't quite believe them yet.

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    1. Oh Skwishee! I know you understand this. I should probably take up running just to pound the crazy out. And counteract the effects of the ham. I hate ham!

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  5. It's my understanding that a wookie's primary responsilibity is to stand in the background and make unintelligible, but still somewhat trenchant commentary. If that's the case, I've totally got your back. ;)

    As for the editing--and you probably already know this--a little time, a little space can work wonders for freshening the eyes and the brain. Step away from the jigsaw. Step away from the jackhammer. For goodness sake, put down the ham. If you're anything like me, you've accidentally started seeing the essay as a problem you can solve rather than a tiny piece of your soul you're trying to excavate. Maybe you both just need to rest a little?

    (PS--Don't even get me started on the back seats of Ford Escorts. Heh.)

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    1. One should never underestimate the value of a Wookie's primary responsibility.
      You have also called me out on the very thing that I have done - created a problem to solve. I have shoved this problem in a drawer until I can look at it without remembering what I wrote. In the meantime, back to the word mines. Beginning anew, again and again. That's the joy, right? Have to remember that from time to time.

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  6. My husband has a ford Escort. I've never been in the backseat.
    The spider thing doesn't freak me out. I refuse to believe it. It cannot be true.

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    1. That's exactly what I told my jBird, but she assured me it's true. She learned it in school. How can it not be? ;)

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  7. I'll work tandem with MM to be your wookie, so long as it's what she said.

    I like to have other folks peruse the essays that beg to be written and need some serious jig-hammering before they're ready for prime time. You've got a load of friends here who I'm sure would be happy to read through it and give you suggestions.

    I don't want to talk about the back seats of Ford Escorts, either. ;-)

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    1. Ha! Thanks for having my back. Message me your email address and I'll send it on over! ;)
      I was so right about the Ford Escorts, wasn't I? Take a poll and I bet we could even make a graph to discover the exact demographic.

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  8. Sorry. I can't get past the spider thing. I'm duct-taping my mouth shut tonight. I'm with you on the ham, too.

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    1. I'd almost rather eat a spider than ham.

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  9. So I love that there are always, always (at least) two benefits of reading your blog: 1) Uh, what you write in your posts. Duh? This seems like a no-brainer but it's true. Even when you're supposedly spouting off nonsense it is fabulous to read; and 2) The comments to your posts. Somehow you've managed to garner this charming and witty following so that the comments are almost as fun to read as the original post. And then you always comment to peoples' comments, so the story telling keeps going. Awesome.

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    1. Thank you, darling. I do seem to have some rather witty and good-looking readers, don't I? I sometimes wonder how a girl can be so lucky. Thanks for being part of the story!

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  10. I read somewhere that our brain doesn't rate experiences as "good" or "bad", just "big" and "not big". Elizabeth Gilbert told me this, trying to explain how someone she knew once started a wedding toast with a description of death (or a funeral, details fuzzy). She believed the brain just reached for some occasion that was as momentous as this one. I don't know, but I feel that relates to this somehow.

    Growing up is hard.

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    1. I definitely think that relates somehow. I will have to explore this notion further. I will probably also have explore (perhaps privately with a therapist) why I read "Melissa Gilbert" instead of "Elizabeth Gilbert" the first few times I read your comment.
      Growing up is so hard. I wonder if it's worth the effort sometimes.

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  11. Southern Fried Children is talking about black holes and you are talking about Chewbaca Today's blogosphere is a blissful cornucopia for geek-minded persons such as myself. I haven't stumbled upon any Star Trek yet though :-(

    thanks for the meandering and entertaining post...I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    --Mike Adams
    http://reasonable-thought.blogspot.com

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  12. I should never allow my Google Reader having again reached 142 stop me from staying up to date with you. No problem is too large to be made worse by the purchase of a large, salty ham. Given your skill, your essay is probably fine anyway. There is a point at which editing becomes very much like the process by which meth addicts pick apart their faces looking for imaginary lice. Just sayin'. :)

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!