Valentines! Years and years ago, Mrs. Cunningham the most famous second grade teacher in upstate New York dipped her ruler into the big jar of paste and delievered each of us a generous dab of white, creamy almost candy paste on a piece of scrap paper - and the fun began. Foils and doilies and ribbons and lace - sweet thoughts and not a little ingested paste. The result was ONE BIG BEAUTIFUL valentine for mom. Fancy as could be and full of the passionate love of a chubby second grader. My mom, who never got around to send Christmas cards LOVED Valentine's Day - and she loved ME especially on on Valentine's day in second grade. Mom lived to 91 and never missed sending everyone she knew a Valentine. Thinking of her (and Mrs. Cunningham) today.
My colleague has joined the six word life story kick! As a matter of fact, she has now written six word life stories for a variety of pop artists, her entire family, and every book of the bible. I am impressed. Having just spent several days editing down I should be good at coming up with my own six words that tell the story of my life.. Off the top of my head I am at a loss.
So the first review went really well except word count was high. I am now editing down - finding the fewest precise words for big complex ideas. It turns out that the section requirements were 500 characters counting spaces. I missed the part about counting spaces. Did I tell you I hate reading directions? Did I tell you that I have probably wasted years of my life because I usually don't read or try to comprehend directions? Wouldn't you think I would learn from the years lost?
This new challenge (paring down) will not be supported by cookies or driving miles to buy cookies. This is more like a cup of tea and a set timer. I will give myself no more than 45 minutes of editing time on each section. I will actually challenge myself to finish each section before the timer decides to tell me I have failed.
Because I needed to finish my writing project, I invited friends for dinner last night. Because I invited friends for dinner, I cleaned my house before beginning to cook. Because I cleaned my house - I changed the sheets and towels and did laundry. Because my house was clean and laundry done, I decided to cook new recipes. Because I made new recipes, I had to shop and study the recipes. Because I wanted everything to turn out right I spent most of yesterday making Ina Garton's Portabello Mushroom Lasagna and also her Pear Calfouti. Both excellent!! Because wanted everything to look nice, I spent some time making the table pretty. Because I really enjoy my friends we had a great dinner and evening. Because I did all of this, I was tired and went to bed. Because I was tired and went to bed, I didn't really work on the writing project.
So of course I was up early this morning so I could experience enough last minute pressure to finish and make the deadline for first review. Done. Did I mention I am a writing procrastinator?
I thought the guidelines said 1500 words for the first section. Well, that was enough to paralyze me right off. I don't have 1500 words on that subject. I could probably say the same 500 words three times. Better take a break, I could eat something...like maybe one of those big cookies they have a Whole Foods. But wait, Whole foods is four miles away. Well I could drive there I would feel better with the cookie. Maybe the writing would come easier. But I still only have about 500 words even with a cookie four miles later. Read the guidelines again - 1500 characters in the first section - that would be about 300 words... Oh glad I read that. Hmm 300 words..but I have 500 words. I need to edit down before going on..but which 200 words will I delete? Better take a break. I need a cookie. Four miles away.
When there is a big writing project, I say "I'd like to roll it around in my head for awhile" - what I really mean is, I am a serious writing procrastinator. The bigger the project, the longer I wait. I always get it done on time, and it is usually good. But I wonder how much better it would be if I could just begin early and work away at if over time. Do those sitdownanddoitrightnowers do a better job, do they get more satisfaction? Do they have less stress in their lives? I really don't know - but I do wonder if my last three weeks would have been happier if I hadn't been "rolling it around in my head" (more like hanging it over my head) and had instead just started typing. So it is due on Monday for first review and I was going to begin tonight. But I think I will roll it around in my head until tomorrow morning. Which means I will toss and turn. Stay tuned.