Joel’s Journal – 11/18/2015

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Wednesday in Brief

Editing: getting lost in piles of short stories

Writing: coming to some interesting realizations


 

I slip from one task to the next, my brain sliding seamlessly from short story to short story as they move across my desk.

Every so often I have an evening like this, an editing frenzy. I almost look forward to them.

Sitting in my office today, reading city reports so dry they could burst into flame if you rubbed two of them together, I really wanted to read something actually entertaining.

It’s like a craving, almost the same way your throat aches for a cigarette, my brain aches for good words.

Now, that’s not to say all the short stories I’ve written are great, I just wanted to harness this feeling and use it to get some serious work done.

So when I got home, after making a quick dinner of pasta and a glass of wine, I dropped into my desk chair and pulled out the stack of short stories I’ve been meaning to edit for the longest while.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I’ve been reading my story “How I Know” which I wrote while I was travelling in Europe, but there are quite a few more than I’ve written since then that I haven’t touched.

Getting them out of my head is tasking enough, so when that’s finally completed the last thing I want to do is have anything to do with them. So, they end up sitting in a pile for a months (some even years, but who’s counting?).

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When the wine was finished I switched over to tea, and also migrated from the desk chair to my apartment floor where the sheets started to fan out around me, and it didn’t take long until I was surrounded.

The pages of each story started to build up in a line as I placed the edited papers on top of each other, slightly askew so I could still see the page numbers.

Each story grew out and soon it looked like I was sitting in the middle of a child’s drawing of a sun with each story making up the beams.

I had a weird moment as I was sitting there, thinking about how each story was written, where the ideas came from, how two unlike things had some together to form an interesting idea.

The thing I love about writing the most is that you’re creating something completely new.

It’s more than just words on paper. You’re literally taking thoughts out of your head, putting them onto the page and creating something. It’s a physical manifestation of something that was once inside your head.

It’s like you’re extracting a small part of you.

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I paused at the though, shifted my legs on the carpet, and then kept editing.

It was a pretty good night.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.

P.S. I’ve also posted a new project update with details on my latest novel and how things are progressing in the Teagan editing process.

Photo Archive: These pictures were taken a year ago this week when I made a day trip down to MacGregor Point Provincial Park. I’m looking forward to another winter weekend jaunt down there this season.

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