Tucker struck a blow for victory in the war against the squirrels as a tree came down in our yard this week.
We didn’t really want it to come down but there wasn’t much of a choice. The tree had been struck with lightning and its roots exposed over time. The previous owner, rather than treat the problem, opted to mow over the roots which allowed disease and rot to set in. I’d guess maybe a quarter of the tree fell this past year with parts landing in the backyard (good) or on top of the garage (not so good).
This change confuses Tucker to no end. He still runs out there, all ready to bark and defend us from the squirrels that used to hide up there and taunt him, only to find it a large, empty space. It’s kind of like what would happen if a dog caught the car.
“Well … now what?”
Fortunately for him, it won’t stay empty for too long. Steph has plans to put some berry bushes back there and maybe even an apple tree. I’m sure some squirrels will move in and, if not, I’m sure an apple will fall on his head and give him something completely new to bark about.
Everyone has great stories about holiday gatherings. In most cases, these are pleasant or humorous tales about Uncle Bill or maybe that surprise reunion.
In my case, it’s tales of people’s appendixes going into full revolt.
Thanksgiving 2010 started with Steph and I heading down to Dubuque to visit my parents and then follow them over to Geneseo, IL to have lunch with some of her sisters and brothers. A good time was had by all and we ate too much as mandated by law.
Steph and I kept heading south to visit our friends Becky and Simon in St. Louis. Becky and Simon always take us places we’d never think to visit. We’ve seen some great jazz bands, found a fantastic book store (Subterranean Books in the Delmar Loop), and so forth. Most often, we go to restaurants because they are foodies like us.
On Friday, we went out to eat and then back to their place. Unfortunately, the evening was cut short because Becky wasn’t feeling well. “Bad food,” we all thought. Beer Cheese Soup can be hit or miss. So we headed out, wishing Becky a good night’s sleep and hoping she felt better the next day.
By 7:15 the next morning, she was having her appendix removed.
Assuming that Becky did not go to extremes to avoid hanging out with us, I shall tie this in with another tale of holiday gatherings – Christmas morning in the mid-1980s.
At the time, my twin brother Jon had been fighting a stomach flu for a few days. About 3am on Christmas morning, he walks into my parents room. He has this look on his face that says “I’ve died and if I haven’t, please kill me now”. Wisely, Mom and Dad take him to the hospital where a doctor informs them that Jon’s appendix has ruptured and is taking a toxic tour of his torso and, oh yeah, surgery RIGHT F**KING NOW!
So were we talking about those sleeping bags Mom and Dad got us? Or Jon stealing the spotlight? I think you know the answer to that.
In the month of November, I have made only four (now five) blog entries. Two of these were short (barely the length of a Tweet), one was random musings while lying sick on the couch, and the last linking a video someone else made.
In that same time period, I also edited and revised 181 pages of the novel.
One could say, ‘Hey, you’re just a lot busier at the moment’ and I wouldn’t blame them. One would also be wrong. With the exception of that first marathon weekend, my writing schedule remains the same. If anything, it’s slowed down a bit. It comes down to the difference between Writing and Revision.
For me, Writing is Hard. It is also infinitely more rewarding. When I write, I’m still figuring out the story. The world, the characters, and the plot are all new to me. Every single page is a new discovery so I’m constantly getting that spark of excitement. On occasion, I get one of those brilliant flashes and I do a little dance that amuses Steph to no end.
In Writing, the Moose always want to see what comes next and keeps pushing me forward.
Over on the Revision side, well, it’s not so much fun. I already know what’s going to happen. The story has been told and the characters established. At this point, it’s just filling in the plot holes and making a tweak here or there to the characters. It’s moving this sentence over to this paragraph. Sometimes it’s the painful decisions like cutting out a page I spent three hours laboring over or entire chapters (three of those have gone away thus far).
In Revision, the Moose is bored out of his skull and wandering out on the highway to see if he can take out a Volvo.
I’d guess that a lot of other writers feel the same way. No one I’ve ever spoken to has said “Woohoo! Revision!” unless it’s heavily dosed in sarcasm and/or alcohol. The only joy I get out of revision is knowing that the story is told and it’s that much closer to going out on the market.
The Moose has found a way to compensate for the boredom. He’s been filling up my brain with details and ideas for the next novel. But I can’t start that until this Revision is finished and the story is sent out to readers. It’s torturous, but it keeps me going.
To be honest, I just haven’t had time. I’ve been buried so deep in revisions that I have nothing to say but I really didn’t want a week to go by without a post. So I dug in deep and found this gem to share with you :
Waking up this morning, I had the overwhelming feeling that someone had used my skull as a place to store old tissues and handkerchiefs. Were I employed in politics, one might have seen this as an advantage (possibly an unfair one) but being as how I do work for a living, it was not and thus, I was forced to stay home.
Being as how they didn’t want to catch whatever foul contagion I had, my co-workers thwarted my attempts to return to work.
How else am I supposed to start an Armageddon that will eventually become named after me?