And here we are again. Another year’s end, another year beginning, another refusal to make resolutions because I can’t plan for the weekend, let alone a whole year. Instead, I have intentions. I intend to do this stuff. If I don’t do it, hey, I changed my mind. It’s not like I resolved to do this stuff. I didn’t promise the universe anything. There is no obligation and no guilt-inducing salespeople will call. Not even my mother who, when I called to tell her I’d sold my first novel, said, “Well, don’t forget your PhD.” Because you start resolving to do something and Guilt shows up at your door with a list. “Remember when you said you were gonna lose fifteen pounds by 2011? IT’S 2015 AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T LOST THOSE POUNDS.” Yeah, fuck Guilt and his much worst cousin, Shame, something I haven’t been on speaking terms with for forty years.
Hanukkah was over yesterday, Christmas ends tonight at midnight, Kwanza starts tomorrow, and I’m sure there are other celebrations I’ve missed (Winter Solstice, Deb?) so here’s wishing you all a fabulous whatever and an even more fabulous 2015.
And in the fine old Argh tradition (2010, 2011, 2013) here’s the official Argh Christmas carol. Because the Drifters work for any any day any where, no matter what they’re singing.
So I was going to wait until the new year to start a new recurring feature–Your Moment of Dog–but then today I was cleaning out the basement for the insulation guys who are coming Friday and heard Milton make this racket. Squirrel, I figure. He has a thing for squirrels. Still, the neighbors would probably appreciate some silence so I go out and yell at him to get up those steps and shut up.
Poor Micki walked into the buzzsaw when she said the draft I posted didn’t sound like a Crusie yet. So I thought I’d expand on the issue here because what she meant was a perfectly good criticism, she just phrased it in an unfortunate manner. (IT’S OKAY, MICKI.) What that kind of comment almost always means is, “This book isn’t like the book that you wrote before that I like,” and that’s a perfectly good criticism. I’m good with that criticism. “I liked Faking It better than this,” is absolutely valid. “I know you wrote this, but this isn’t your writing” isn’t valid.
Usually the idea is that I rewrite the scene after you all weigh in and we talk about the rewrite, but Toni and I started looking at our two opening scenes last night and realized we were on different planets, so we’re revamping the beginning so we can both get what we need on the page. Which means that by the time we’re done, this is probably going to be the third scene. Or the first. Anyway, back much later, we’re rewriting. And thank you very much for your critiques; they were very helpful.
I’m going to talk about why the scene was like it was, but none of this should be taken as a rationale for keeping the scene that way. I’m rewriting, I’m changing it (thank you very much for your feedback), the scene has problems and I’m fixing them. It is very tempting to say, “Well, I need this, so this has to be that way,” but that’s a cop-out. This is my book, I can write this any way I want, so trying to justify confusing writing by saying, “But I need to do this” is just another way of saying, “I don’t want to figure out a better way to get what I wanted while still giving the reader a good story.”
Today is Put On Your Own Shoes Day.
(You can see why I tried to give up this tradition.)
I’m going to interpret this liberally as the day to tell people who ask you to do things they can do perfectly well themselves to do those things perfectly well themselves.