Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Storm, Reading Aloud, and the Inevitable Oopsies.

When you grow up in a part of the country known as "Tornado Alley," you kind of get numb to nature's danger.  Every now and then, though, it seems nature seems to sense this, and she rages and storms just to remind you that you aren't in charge, and you aren't indestructible, and that your plans mean nothing in the Grand Scheme of Things.

I had planned to edit tonight, but instead I rushed home from work to make sure the kids were safe (they were).  After a quick dinner provided by my mom and dad--for which I am thankful (especially since the storm meant no quick trip to the store to restock my bare cupboards), I sat down to read my latest short story aloud in search of The Inevitable Oopsies. 

No matter how hard I try to edit, it seems that something manages slip through.  However, reading aloud makes me slow down (I am a crazy quick reader), listen for changes in tone or voice, makes me pay attention to inconsistencies and plot holes.  It also results in me taking on the voice--the tone, inflection, and vocal mannerisms--of my characters.  This can be a bit tough to shake and creates the illusion of delusion.

I had just nestled down to immerse myself in my delusions when: BOOM, zzaaaaaaapppp, silence; the electricity went out.

After much cussing, I gathered enough candles and flashlights to illuminate the room well enough to read.  I was shocked at how much more I noticed when I read aloud.  It forced me to focus on the work.  Distractions fell away, and the story consumed me.

I made notes, and once the lights came back on I made the changes on the computer, as well.  Now I will set it aside a while longer.  A story needs time to steep--like tea.

Also, my hand needs a break.  All this typing is taking its toll...Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tendonitis. 

So for the next few days, I will write and edit and read aloud.  I will wait to see if the ginger agent ever responds, and I will send off finished stories and start new ones.

More storms are predicted for tomorrow, so there may be more candles in my future--but even if the storms hold off I might just light a candle anyway--for being safe, and feeling happy about a story, and prayin' that the story might be the one that tips the scales in my favor. 

For those that have read the short story, and offered comments and suggestions, who have kept reading and following me in this journey, who have bolstered my spirits and made me feel like I can do anything...I thank you.