Sunday, November 22, 2015

Final Edit, When Incarnation Goes Wrong, The Whole Ball of Yarn

I have finished the final edit of my novel, and I am moving on to the odious task of writing a synopsis. So far, I have one and a half paragraphs, and several bruises on my forehead from banging my head against the wall in frustration. Trying to break a 300-page book down into a 500-word summary is an absurd and Sisyphean task, almost harder than actually writing the novel itself.  I keep telling myself that it’s good for me to do this; that I will acquire discipline and clarity through the process, but so far all I have is torn-out eyebrows and heartburn. After this comes the dreaded query letter, but I’m not anywhere near ready for that stage yet. At any rate, it feels good to have completed—really completed—the novel, at long last. I feel almost ready to move on to a new project now, although I don’t know what that will be yet. It’s a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to my main character, Harley. She lives on in my heart, and I dream that she will be introduced to many a new reader if the novel ever gets published.

Art has been on my mind this week, partly because I’ve been doing lots of arty things due to my involvement in the Art Committee at work, and partly because I’ve been reading some articles on Bernard Frouchtben on the Frankly Curious blog. I’ve been musing on the fact that I do not have the slightest inkling about how art is valued. What makes a particular piece of art worth what it sells for is a complete mystery to me. It all seems breathtakingly arbitrary. I also fantasize that I could one day be an art collector, and a full-on patron of the arts, going around to local shows and snapping up works that appeal to me with nary a thought of the cost. I think something went wrong with my incarnation in this lifetime. I’m pretty sure I was meant to be filthy rich and provided a life of frivolous ease and luxury. I must have gotten lost somehow and slipped into the wrong body. I’ll plan better next time. Artists, get those paintings ready, because I’m coming back into this world flush as heck!

A few days ago, I heard suspicious paper-tearing sounds coming from the living room, but I decided to just ignore them. I figured our cat Buddy had gotten a hold of an old newspaper or something. Imagine my delight when I realized that he had taken a brand-new skein of yarn out of my basket, dragged it onto the floor, helpfully peeled the paper wrapper off, and unraveled approximately 80 feet of yarn. I collected the mutilated spaghetti-snarl and handed it over to Mr. Typist, who painstakingly untangled the whole mess and rolled it into a tidy little ball of such perfection that now I don’t want to use the yarn. I just want it to remain in its purified state of compact, round transcendence. Also, I officially have Stockholm Syndrome. When I saw Buddy’s handiwork with the yarn, the first thing out of my mouth was, “This is entirely my own fault.” I should have known better than to leave a tantalizing skein of brand-new yarn within paw’s reach. In honor of Buddy’s handiwork, and his passion for boxes, here’s another Simon’s Cat video. Enjoy!

--Kristen McHenry

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