Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Pearl Of Great Price

Endings have always been my forte, in writing if not in life. But the end is merely the beginning of the tedious and exhausting process of revision. I like revision up until a point. That point being when I want to tear each individual hair out of my head. When I can no longer look at the damn thing anymore and think it's the devil. There's an expression from the great campy classic, The Boys in the Band, called "the turning." Basically, it's my shorthand for when you get to the point in anything where you don't like it and like food, it has turned bad, evil, and foul. Sadly, you have labored way too hard on writing to throw it out like moldy bread. Instead, you have to scrape the mold off (like I did when I was especially poor in the literal sense much to the horror of my rich best friend at the time) and see what can be salvaged. This is as much fun as it sounds.

This is where your friends save you. When you hit the wall with a manuscript, your most generous and thoughtful friends will come to your aid and show you what you need to do. I've recently experienced this phenomenon (thanks Bamms and Mark!) and can only say that people who you trust enough to critique your writing should be treated with the same love you'd expend on the pearl of great price to use a biblical turn of phrase. I trust people with damn near everything from my hair color to Snowflake's infrequent care, but showing your writing to someone requires a great deal of trust between both people. To lay your burdens on someone else and have them hold up a mirror, this is the definition of love.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world."
Helen Keller

Cocktail Hour
Drinking novel suggestion: Such Good Friends Lois Gould

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Scott said...


I know the feeling about revisions. I do wish I had someone to read my work whose opinions were trustworthy, like you have...that's truly a blessing.

Hope you had a good Thursday...take care!

the walking man said...

So uhhh when you're done tearing your hair out can I have it...I need a LOT to fill in the top of my pate...I will need the roots too so do it gently.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about beginner's luck lately. It's happened to me many, many times. So I often begin things just with the hope that I'll experience the thrill of beginner's luck. It's so thrilling. I'm serious.--Menachem Begin

Anonymous said...

Irsy is the one for me. She's got a great hook.--Mickey Rourke

Anonymous said...

I hear Menachem Begin,
but he can't come in!

Anonymous said...

Begin the Beguine.--Cole Porter

Anonymous said...

If music is the song of love, play on!--Shakey

Charles Gramlich said...

Such pearls are very difficult to find. Congrats on having a couple around.

Lana Gramlich said...

A very true & insightful post. Sometimes we have to brace ourselves, too, when that mirror gets held up. *L*