What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.
What I’m Reading
As if all the other issues with Graham Nash’s autobiography weren’t enough, there’s actually a line where he seriously laments the fact that more young people these days aren’t dropping acid anymore. He thinks it’s because they’re afraid to look inside themselves. You really don’t need a filter on your mouth or keyboard when you’re famous, do you?
Seriously, this book is like night and day with the last celebrity autobiography I recall reading, John Taylor’s In the Pleasure Groove. I wouldn’t rate John’s book 5 stars, but at least I lost no respect for him while reading it, he knew how to write without lacing his prose with F words and other unnecessary vulgarities, he wasn’t constantly bragging on himself, he didn’t kiss and tell (particularly respectable considering how many women you know he slept with in the Eighties), he didn’t write about women in degrading, piggish language, and he didn’t celebrate his past drug use.
What I’m Writing
I’m thrilled to have gotten Little Ragdoll down to under 365,000 words and 869 pages so far during this round of editing. That’s a huge amount of progress considering the first draft was a staggering 397K and for the longest time it was only shrunken down to 387K, with perhaps 2,000 new words added when I wrote in left-handedness for 13 characters. Given how my brain isn’t wired neurotypically, it isn’t always easy for me to figure out right away if something is overstated, not natural-sounding dialogue, too much oversharing or not the right time to relay certain information, awkwardly conveying information through staged-sounding dialogue, etc. I can’t wait to go through another round of edits and revisions after this one is done, so I can see if it can be shrunken a little bit more. This will never be a slim volume, but at least I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the verbiage that made it so bloated originally.
One of the big chunks I slashed out was a section that starts several paragraphs into Part IV, catching the reader up on what’s happened in the last two years. I kept having the increasing feeling that it pulls the reader out of the action and slows down the narrative. Really, the most important things in those long catch-up paragraphs are conveyed during the next few chapters anyway. It’s not a secret that Adicia’s older sisters and some of her friends have since moved Upstate, that Lucine is now married, or that Allen (whose lottery number was 110) escaped the draft by going to community college.
What Inspires Me
I discovered The Rap Critic in October, and have been watching more and more of his videos lately. Some of his videos are such comedic gold I’ve watched them several times. While it’s always entertaining to watch him give a scathing review to an outright horrible song and video, or to a bland, unimaginative, generic party song, he does review some songs he likes too. There are even Best Of lists for 2011, 2012, and 2013.
I’ve checked out some of these songs he praised on YouTube, both modern and older songs, and have been really impressed. It’s completely changed my feelings towards the genre. It’s really refreshing to discover that not all rappers are gangsta rappers, or just producing generic brag raps and club songs. There are still original, creative, intelligent, thoughtful rappers with a social conscience, unafraid to tackle difficult topics, respectful towards women. It also helps that The Rap Critic is well-spoken and intelligent himself, and demands the same from his music.
What Else I’m Up To
Studying for the GRE, and hopefully continuing to reawaken the math skills I once had. The area I have the most issues with actually isn’t algebra, geometry, or word problems, but rather multiplication tables. I was an A math student in elementary school and knew my times tables cold up to the 12s, but since I haven’t used them in so long, I honestly forget a lot of them.
I had some things framed, and after I pick the frames and glass up, I’m going to borrow a screwdriver to fasten them in and hang them on my wall. The woman at the framing center was totally cool with how I like older music, though it makes me feel so old given that one of the posters I had framed is from my own lifetime! It’s a couple of years younger than I am.