Wanna hear my latest pet peeve? (You do.)
Mean cooking shows. What the hell is wrong with this country?
I don’t watch a lot of shows besides Downton Abbey, Girls, New Girl, Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (where has that show been my whole life?), One Tree Hill on Netflix (TOTAL crap, but I can’t stop), Louie and (best show ever) Felicity which I only watch on DVD since Netflix uses the wrong songs in some places and it ruins entire episodes. Don’t mess around with my Felicity. You’ve been warned. There may be some shows I am forgetting to remember... Oh! Nashville. So gloriously trashy! So aside from all of those, I don’t watch a lot of shows. I forgot Shameless.
But I totally love cooking shows. They are like delicious white noise. Almost anything on the Cooking Channel or the Food Network—LOVE it. I usually watch a little of The Chew (how much do I LOVE that show?) while I eat my lunch and lately ABC has been advertising a new show called The Taste and it is just all mean. There are other mean cooking shows, too. And they all suck. Not that I’ve watched them. I refuse on principle.
Can we just allow some things to be nice? It’s food, not the giant trash heap in the Pacific. Or global warming. Or malaria. Or the wrong songs in some places on Felicity ruining entire episodes.
(Okay, I’m done with that.)
So, you can anticipate only one blog post from me this week. (Take a moment if you need to. Alright... you okay now? Good.) I am into heavy edits on The Mosquito Hours and very busy scrutinizing every word and examining every theme. And—because what would my life be without freaking out about pretty much everything (I’m exaggerating—it’s only almost everything)—I find myself concerned that not every single thread and theme and thought and metaphor and motif and other literary devices I don’t remember from AP English are not fully realized.
This is a 101,826 word document. Do you know what it that is like?
I can’t even explain it.
(I’m a writer—I should try.)
It’s like an enormous and evil pile of oiled spaghetti—you prop up one area to have a look and the rest droops and slides away. You prop up some other area to have a look and the rest droops and slides away. You prop up some other area to have a look and the rest droops and slides away.
(I think you get it.)
My workspace. Totally overwhelming pile of notes and one of my favorite pens. Yes, that is One Tree Hill on the screen.
You have to try to remember every way you did everything for the sake of consistency, make sure the story doesn’t get bogged down anywhere, too speedy anywhere, make sure the prose is interesting yet clear and the story lines are believable, find and fix all typos (totally impossible), insert/adjust the excellent ideas and feedback from your friends who have graciously read the 101,826 word document.
(Aren’t you freaked out now, too?)
But then I remembered that writing is truly a collaboration with the reader. My readers are smart—I have to allow them space to find the themes and the connections. Find the meaning and metaphor. And that might be somewhat different for each reader. And that will mean the book itself will be essentially different. Each reader brings his or her own perspective and that will shape their experience with my words. And that is really pretty amazing. So, thank you ahead of time, as I know you will find wonders in my book of which I had not even conceived.
It’s gonna be great.
In the meantime while you wait to read The Mosquito Hours, do not watch mean cooking shows. Or Felicity on Netflix. Seriously.