Writing Wrongs

October 29, 2006

Yesterday, the kids had to choose between a couple of Halloween parties going on (at the Y and other organizations). Andrew weighed the pros and cons of each, calculated which friends might be where, and decided on the one where my supervision wasn’t needed.

I dropped off Snow White and “Skullzor” at the party and ended up a few blocks away at the library, one hundred and thirty manuscript pages tucked under my arm.

Do you know how quiet it is at the library? Or rather, how quiet it is when you’re not in the children’s section? No one but no one ever says things like: “No hitting your brother with that axe, otherwise, no one gets to play with it.”

For the record, the axe is a plastic one that came with Andrew’s “Skullzor” costume. It’s been co-opted as a stand in for Kyra’s imaginary friend Kelsey.

Still, these are things you never hear at the library. I edited an amazing number of pages and stayed right up until they were flicking the lights off to get everyone to leave. When I picked up the kids, they seemed really low. I worried that they didn’t have a good time. Turned out, they had too much of a good time. They were both exhausted.

Andrew asked what I did. I told him I was editing, and he said: “Don’t you need a trained professional for that?”

Nice. I explained the ins and outs of self-editing and why it’s a good thing for writers to learn. Actually, his school teaches the whole writing process from brainstorming through draft writing, and then editing, where you have an adult check for you. So he caught on pretty quickly to what I was doing. “Do you cross out one word and put in another?” he wanted to know.

Lots of crossing out, little arrows to the flipside of the page, and so on. But yeah, that’s it.

They perked up once I fed them. So did I. Then we snuggled in the big bed, me, Andrew, Kyra, and of course, Kelsey, the axe. But she was behaving herself.

All in all, a good day. The axe notwithstanding.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 9:03 a.m.

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