Revision shhedual*

Confession: I haven’t worked on AUT in, um, a few days. Maybe two? It’s Thursday, right? Yeah. And I don’t really see myself working on it a whole lot tonight. I just have a hard time working on weekdays. It’s like, I get home from work around 7:30 or 8:00 and either I consume something (usually pasta, because it’s cheap and I’m broke) and then head over to my friend Cambria’s because she has cable and I don’t (last night after I got my couch we watched America’s Next Top Model**), or I stay at home and watch Netflixed movies and read a little before bed. I work much better on the weekends, when I can get up late and then spend about 10 hours unshowered and in my pajamas, writing (or, in this case, revising) my little heart out. In other words, I make more progress in marathons rather than sprints, which doesn’t surprise me–I was a distance swimmer in high school, never had great times in the 50 or 100 yd events but kicked ASS during the 200 and 500 yd free events. Not that swimming has much to do with writing, but…just go with the analogy, mmmkay?

So. This weekend. Needs to be the big push. I’ve decided to extend my self-imposed deadline to Wednesday, April 9 (or, I guess, Tuesday, April 8, because I want to email the revised MS to Joanna on Wed. morning), which will give me time to let the edits percolate before I give the MS another once-over and then send it off. I don’t plan on working very much the weekend of March 31 because my friend Jack (!) is coming into town all the way from sunny Arizona. Jack and I went to college together and last year when I was getting my MA at the University of Chicago, he was here in town, living just a few blocks from where I live now, getting his MA from Columbia. I haven’t seen him in over a year and a half and I’m super excited to hang out with him. Also? To hang out somewhere nearer my apartment. I feel like I always end up going to the UES or LES which, while fun, is quite far from my house via PT and I can’t afford cabs.

To wit, I’m going out on the LES tomorrow night with my friends Katie and Cambria! We’re doing happy hour at Happy Ending, which is sort of a haunt of Cambria’s and mine because our friend Jessica’s boyfriend is a bar back there. I like it because the drinks are cheap-ish and usually strong, which is a very good combo if you are not so flush with cash. It used to be a spa and looks really trashy from the outside (very LES), but inside it’s sleek and red and downstairs there are refurbed showers where you can sit with your friends. Usually they’re reserved, but one time we went there and sort of commandeered a shower before anyone got there (before they’d even opened up the downstairs, but Jessica’s exalted status there got us in without major incident) and got to keep it the whole time (drunkards sort of filtered in and out, but whatever).

But after Friday, I am BUCKLING. DOWN. I’m around pg. 150 with my revisions, which means I’m a little less than halfway through (before revisions, I’d be more than halfway through, but I have somehow managed to add thirteen pages to the final count). I can get the rest done by Sunday, which means that I can use whatever downtime I have the NEXT weekend (when I’m not out with Jack and Cambria and his Columbia friends) to do the once-over. Sorry to bore you with all this, it’s really to keep myself accountable and give myself an actual schedule that I can follow. I work well that way.

Other random slices of my boring life:

  • I’m in the middle of Enchanted right now, and I have to admit that I’m simultaneously loving it and hating it. I got it because I really like Amy Adams (SO GOOD in Junebug, if you haven’t seen it please do), but I’m finding her character sort of irritating–I know she’s naive because she’s, like, a formerly animated Disney princess, but still, the bubbly personality and squeaky voice and omnipresent smile still grates–since I’m of the same mindset as Patrick Dempsey’s character, Robert–he doesn’t really believe in romance and neither do I. Of course, he’ll be converted by the end of the movie, but I’m pretty sure I won’t. James Marsden as Prince Edward is pretty hilarious, though. I know it’s a satire, and I’m trying to let that roll, but I’m losing patience.
  • We got our couch! We even managed to get it through our front door/hallway, though it was a bit of a tight squeeze. It is wonderful. I might have to name it, to show it how much I love it.
  • Still haven’t found our mail key. Apparently, our neighbors are never home. We talked to the girl who lives next door with her boyfriend and she hadn’t picked it up, but the other three apartments weren’t home. It was sort of strange. This was 8:00 PM-ish. Where were they? Do people actually live in those apartments?
  • My college BFF Carmen and her boyfriend Tim are coming to visit me this summer! She finally gave me the dates, and I’m very excited. My summer is pretty much going to be a revolving door of people visiting. It will be exhausting, I predict, but very very worth it.
  • Talked to my mom last night about my taxes and I’m getting money back from all three states (California, since it’s technically my permanent state of residence; Illinois, since I worked there over the summer for a wage; and New York, obvs.) and the federal government. It’ll be just enough to cover my outstanding credit card balance if I pay off the whole thing; I think I might pay off most of it and then get my iPod fixed. I decided a long time ago not to replace the headphone jack myself because I just don’t trust myself to open up my iPod and fiddle around with it myself. I’m handy, but not that handy.

So I think that’s it. If I don’t get a chance to blog tomorrow, happy weekend everybody!

*Pronounced as the Brits do. I’ve been watching far too much Shameless. My internal monologue has a Manchester accent at the moment. It is very disorienting.

**I was sad to see Aimee go, but, to be honest, every season we get a naive, vaguely religious girl on the show who’s uncomfortable being naked and similar and I just have about zero patience for it now. It’s like, do you even watch the show? Don’t you know that those type of girls ALWAYS go home? The job involves compromises; get over it. Also, I really like Lauren and Whitney, and conversely dislike Dominique, but I thought all that mean-girls stuff they were doing in last night’s episode, like talking shit about her while she’s trying to sleep IN THE SAME ROOM, is just being incendiary for no reason. Like, I get that they’re young and bored and they really don’t like her, but come on. It’s just not necessary, and Claire? You have a daughter and THIS is what you want her to take away from your ANTM experience? That you’re a bitch? Grow up.

ETA: Apparently, not all Brits say “shedule”. Thanks Trudi! Any writers out there should check out Trudi’s post on overcoming writer’s block, as well as her other craft-related posts. Spoiler: she compares writer’s block to erectile dysfunction. Very apt, I’d say.

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Items of import

  • Item A: Last night, something sort of weird happened. After a couple episodes of Shameless, Series 2*, I went to bed because, frankly, I was tired (did get a few pages of AUT revised, though). I woke up to the doorbell ringing in what I thought was the morning, but clearly wasn’t because it was pitch dark outside (or as dark as it gets when your view overlooks a McDonald’s…it’s a swank little New York bistro, perhaps you’ve heard of it?). I glanced at my cell phone–1:02 AM. I had just fallen asleep at about 12:30 AM. WTF is with the doorbell at that hour? Possibilities ran through my head: either it’s an emergency, a mistake, or somebody is testing to see if we’re home because they’re planning to rob us. To reiterate: doorbell. Not buzzer; people do that all the time, buzz every apartment in order to get access to a building, but this was the doorbell. On our DOOR. Which meant that someone unknown to us had to stand outside our door to ring it. Which is, in and of itself, pretty creepy at that time of night, but also not good because our lock? She is flimsy. I know, I know, we should have a deadbolt. I want to see if I can get my management office to pay for it, because safety in New York is expensive. Consequently, I stayed up half the night afraid that whoever rang the doorbell would come back and murder/rob us. We put this ladder that we nicked from the building basement a while back in order to replace a light bulb in front of the door so that at least we’d hear it crash when the murderer/robber came in, but of course nothing happened. But I am very tired today.
  • Item B: My roommate and I finally got a couch–after nearly five months of living in our apartment! Now all we need is cable television, but one step at a time.
  • Item C: Revisions on AUT have slowed now that it’s no longer the weekend, and because the section I’m revising now needs some voice alteration to differentiate it better from the voice of Protag #1’s PoV sections (Protag #1 is an eighteen-year-old male and Protag #2 is an eighteen-year-old female). My agent said she didn’t really have a problem with this, but some of her other readers (interns, I’d imagine) did, and since just a few short months ago I was one of those interns, writing those reader reports, I respect that. But it’s much hard to fix that than, say, a clunky sentence on page 211 (or whatever). I’m sure I’ll finish next weekend, which gives me plenty of time to let it all sit and percolate before going over it once more and sending it off to Joanna to read on her way to the London Book Fair.

S’up with you?

*Did you know that you can actually CHANGE the Region settings on your DVD player if you have a Mac (iBook G4)? Except that you can only do it five times total, so when I put my Shameless, Series 2, first disc in just to test and see what Iphigenia Doubtfire would do (I expected her to spin it then spit it out, but no! She’s full of surprises), it prompted me to change the region (I tried to change it to Region 0, which would nullify this whole problem in the future, but it would only let me change it to Region 2). I figure I’ll watch the series on my Mac, then change it back to Region 1 and from then on only watch the DVDs on my region-free DVD player in the living room.