Monday, April 07, 2014

13 Days Until Easter

Yesterday was a day of rest.  No blog.  Not a lot of anything except digging into an editing project that will be quickly done, I think.

I'm not sure, but I think Sundays are not counted in the forty days of Lent, so I'll call it a draw.

Lassitude has set in, maybe sloth, probably acedia, which is the Latinate form of the Deadly Sin most commonly called sloth.  I read a few pages of Katherine Norris's memoir of the same same every once in a while but the book is so on the mark I have to put it down quickly.  Few other books have affected me that way.  The Noonday Demon, which I finally put out on the street yesterday for someone either stronger or equally hapless.  Naked Lunch made me dream in Naked Lunchese but with which I did not identify.  Now Acedia, which is very close to home.  On a good day I can make it to 7 pm before it sets in, on a bad day I can't make it past 10 a.m.  Acedia is sloth with despair mixed, or futurelessness.  A heavy dose of ennui.

A hairball of pointlessness.

Good thing I have this editing project.  A friend has interest from a literary agent and had very specific comments and questions.  I coached her through her response to the agency -- no, don't ask them questions about what they mean: if they wanted an open dialogue with you they would have signed you with the understanding that you'd revise, and yes, do tell them you'll turn it around in a month.  Having cut off her hopes that they'd coach her through, I then felt I had to read it so I could help.  It's a good book.  Very smart with some cliff-hangers.  But as always, I want to scream that the words just, very, all, so, then be banished from the written word.  If you've said your character is in Brussels two paragraphs ago, you don't need to name the city again for ages.

Free help to anyone who wants to at least know where to start cleaning up their prose.

So I'm doing that, and about to go walk a dog in the rain, oh joy.  What made me happiest yesterday was putting out a stack of books to give away and see them taken and reading my friend's novel.  Today I pulled more books to give away and read another 50 pages before going to House, my acedia stall.

I'm not worried at my mood but I'm disappointed in it.  I'd like to be on fire with writing and I'm not.  I also know that I'm not because I'm scared to death.  I wish I was the kind of person who could admit fear, admit to being frozen and go take a shower.

But I haven't even done that.


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Hilary said...

I also have Kathleen Norris' book Acedia. I swear it could bring on acedia if you didn't already have it! I keep donating it to the library in my building and then when it appears again I'm tempted to take it back. It can be comforting and it can be unremittingly dreary.

Vickie said...

Add "that" to your list. I have the kids do a search on "that" before I am willing to proof. Drives me nuts.