Monday, April 27, 2020

Quarantine Diaries #6

First, I'm a snaggle tooth now. The other night I was eating a delicious chicken tinga taquito, one of many I lovingly prepared for my family, and a filling in my front tooth came out. My children noticed first. The filling is missing, and now I look worse than usual. I probably swallowed that little bit of fake tooth with the taquito, and all I can do is feel the jagged edge with the tip of my tongue.

Something else: it was supposed to be a rainy day, but instead, it just rained in the morning and now it's sunny and 70. Glorious, if you will.

A third thing: I sent some chapters of my next project to my writers' group. I hope they like them. They probably will, and they'll probably have some good ideas about how to make them better. Making them better is a primary aim of mine.

Finally, the time has come to limit caloric consumption. At first, the quarantine seemed like a weird, no-man's land free-for-all. Whatever! We're in quarantine! Eat all the carbs and drink all the wine! Now, it's been like years in here. My stomach hurts a little and some of my clothes feel not the greatest. Maybe some better choices are in order. I run, but as I learned on The Biggest Loser, you can eat your way through any amount of exercise.

I guess that's it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Quarantine Diaries #5

We've all been here in the house like everyone else has been in their houses. Mostly, I feel we're doing okay except for the crushing collective grief.

I mean, right?

Last night, over our delicious dinner of mushroom, sausage, and spinach fricassee, Dan randomly started calling me Momar. He says it sounds similar to Mama. He says he thinks it's a nice name for me. The children, especially Shef, have adopted it immediately.

Look: I hate being called Momar. Who would want to be called that?

To me, it sounds quite similar to Muammar, as in Muammar Gaddafi, the dead dictator of Libya. I'm sorry, but who would like their at-home term of endearment to signal an authoritarian regime?

Not me. But, in this case, it doesn't seem to matter what I think.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Quaratine Diaries #4

What's happened now is that I've handed in the next version of my book. It turns out my editor had brilliant suggestions that I truly enjoyed implementing. Together, we made the book considerably better on this round, and I felt a little embarrassed that I'd handed it in as it was before.

Now, we hold our breath to see whether my editor likes the changes I've made in response to her reactions.

My guess is that she'll like most of them and then have a few more suggestions. She'll write her suggestions as comments in the Word document. Sometimes they'll be framed as questions. For example, she might write, "Would Alice really react this way? Or might she instead yell at so-and-so and text such-and-such?" That won't really be a question, and I'll know I'm supposed to fix that part.

My editor might also say something like, "This resolution isn't working for me. Maybe it could be X, Y, or Z? Do those ideas spark anything for you?" And, I'll either choose one of her suggestions or come up with something different that also does the trick.

This is how it works with an editor. If you need more information about this all-important relationship for a writer, may I suggest one of my favorite books of all time, Back and Forth: Using an Editor's Mindset to Improve Student Writing by the one and only Lee Heffernan.

In the meantime, I'm catching up on things like chores and making to-do lists. Later I'll even comb my hair, but only because I'm Zooming with a book club. These are strange times. My editor's name is Kerry, and I believe she's quite excellent at her job.