Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Editing Lessons

My Chocolate Cake Club goal this month is editing 30 pages, start dividing the book into chapters, and ensure that conflict exists on every page.

I've really struggled with this editing business. Daily or weekly word count goals are easy. I can turn them into metrics that show what I've accomplished. The distances I've leapt. But this editing thing is difficult. How much is enough? How can I make it tangible? How do I know when I'm done?

Crap. I need to get started. It is afterall, the 12th day of December. (ed: I wrote this last night.)

Last night I decided to stop procrastinating. And, once I thought about it, two pages a day would see me to the end of the month, with a few pages to spare. How long can two pages take?

I don't know, because I never made it to the second page. One page took me 35 minutes.

That might be directly related to Pickle Boy's hindrance help. He decided that he would watch Mommy work.

He talks. A lot. All of the time, in fact.

We talked about the music that we were listening to on my iPod (we were sharing the new ear buds I got -- Skullcandy, totally fab.) We talked about the blue post-it notes and how they were for Mommy to use. We talked about the yellow paper Pickle Boy could use. We talked about why Mommy doesn't have to share her purple pen since she is color-coding some of the edits and purple is very important right now to Mommy, not red.

We talked about how he makes lovely spirals (and yes, I do love them.) We talked about how Mommy's work is important and how I'd be done just a little sooner if he would be quiet.

And when I was done, and put everything away (because that's what big boys do when they are done playing,) we talked some more.

He told me about school and the kids at daycare. As I listened to him ramble on, with little prompting, I felt my frustration dissolve. I interrupted him and said, "Pickle Boy, you talk a lot. Do you talk a lot at school too?" His prompt reply, "No." But he had that look that moms learn to recognize as "I'm going to get in trouble if I tell the truth."

I reminded him that he wouldn't get it trouble, I just wanted to know. He confessed. "Yeah, I talk a lot at school. Ms Tammy asks me to be quiet." I laugh, and he laughs. "I make them laugh at school," he says.

Great, I've spawned the class clown. I'll just introduce myself to the principal now, thank you very much.

"You're silly, Goofy Ball McGee." That's our other nickname for Pickle Boy.

"No, you're silly, Momma Cucoo." That's his nickname for me.

"Nope. I learned it from you."

"I learn from you."

Yep, you probably did, Pickle Boy.

It may have only been one page of edits, but it was a great page.

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