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On Meta: Posting About Writing While Writing

Categories: This Writer's Life.
Note: Apologies on the wild swings in blog posting time. I’m going to get back on the Tues or Wed posting schedule, just as soon as I’m not overwhelmed with deadlines and Celtic-Laker overtime disappointments. Pinky swear. 

The idea of meta is the whole idea of thinking about the fact that you’re thinking about something. It means “about its own category.” So what I do, because I write about writing, is pretty damn meta. But, apparently, not nearly meta enough. Because right now I’m– as we mutually connect via the Webz– doing a rewrite of my Boston Globe Magazine piece, and I kind of think it’d be a good idea to keep writing the blog as I’m editing and rewriting, keeping a commentary of those changes. I have no idea why I want to do it, but did Columbus have any idea what he was doing when he convinced the Spanish Queen or King or whomever to let him sail to India via a shortcut? Of course not. But Columbus was kind of a d**k like that.

Let’s get to it:

First issue– I’ve been looking for another word for flower for the past half hour. Nothing seems to do it, though. Inflorescence doesn’t really work. Perennial, annual, blossom, bud, vine– Jeez, Thesaurus.com– have you no good word for me to work with?

Second Issue– How much of this flower buyer’s bio do I put in right here? I’m already way over on my word count, but someone needs to know that this Dutch dude wrote a complete and detailed guide to everything about the cultivation of roses for his “masterpiece”, as he calls it. Well… I guess you guys know now. Spread the word!

Third Issue– I just spent twenty minutes actively looking for ways to talk more about myself in the piece. I guess that’s not an issue, more like a statement.

Fourth Issue– I need to discuss “the hierarchy” of the company, and do it in the context of how the offices are set up in the design studio. Yeah, I know, I don’t know what that really means either! I think a few more well placed “I observed”s will safely put that issue to rest.

Fifth Issue– I need to describe something that happened in Holland, that I didn’t actually see with my own eyes, and only heard about through lots of questions from a guy who speaks great English, but, you know, sometimes uses terms that confuse me, like “masterpiece” when he probably means “thesis”. I’m also not sure I’m confident that the farmer in questions name is Gerard.

Fifth Issue, resolved– It is Gerard!

Sixth Issue — The hed and the dek (two more termz!) need work. The hed is the title and the dek is essentially a few lines explaining the essence of the story– and both sound like they’re blurbing a Lifetime movie, as they stand right now, which is unacceptable because I fancy myself edgy!!

I still have no ideas, even after spending 15 minutes looking through a Rhyming Dictionary. I instant message with the Big Cat and he comes back with: “The Leaning Flower of Pisa??” I immediately sign off.

Ok, I’m giving up. I need to sleep. So if anyone has any ideas about what I should title a piece that involves a flower traveling across the Atlantic, and being followed all through its entire life — send your comment to my pager, and be sure and put in 911, so that I know it’s important when I’m calling you back from my payphone.

Significantly less cracked out posts to follow. 

Rhythm of,
The Night

DeBarge

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19 Responses to On Meta: Posting About Writing While Writing

  1. uelldill says:

    .
    These, a chemical substance solution is applied in the affected section to literally ‘peel off’ your outer skin color layer.As a consequence, a totally new layer from skin arrives which gives you that positive look and also youthful.

    These, a chemical substance solution is applied in the affected section to literally ‘peel off’ your outer skin color layer.As a consequence, a totally new layer from skin arrives which gives you that positive look and also youthful sparkle.

    Mainly, there are three sorts of chemical peel.

    First would be the mild peel off which basically removes the layer from the skin.This is the kind of chemical peel which can be used to take care of acne.It also helps take care of old acne breakout scars and basically evens out your skin.

    The type would be the medium peel which goes just a little deeper than the mild stem.The treatment can cause redness not to mention chafing immediately after the procedure

  2. Tom says:

    Christine,

    Many thanks on the suggestion. I think it’s "pomegranate," and I almost got something similar, but it was "made from concentrate," and I was told specifically to stay away from that. It ended up being "Simply" brand applejuice, and when I finally got home and drank some, it tasted sweeter than anything that had ever touched my lips in my entire life. Well, except maybe for the first time I kissed J. That was amazing. It was like kissing a sunrise.

  3. Christine says:

    Tom,
    When sick, always go with Welch’s Pomegranite White Grape juice. It won’t let you down. Not sure I spelled pomegranite correctly (it just doesn’t look right), but am too lazy to investigate. You’ll figure it out. Be well.

  4. Tom says:

    In the world of series that demand attention, (and ones the I’ve discovered via The Kev), I was at the video store tonight and saw that they’ve released apparently ALL of the rest of the season of The Wire on DVD! …and the first disc of season two didn’t even have a spot on the rack. Huh???? I couldn’t even longingly look at the empty space for it, they simply started with Disc Two. Whatever.

    As far as thoughts for getting un-stuck on things, I’m sick and it took me ten minutes to pick out juice at the store, so I’m not much help at this point.

  5. Heather says:

    Now that I’ve gotten over the pencil-thin mustache, Hammer pants, and the creepy driver of the Debarge video, I can honestly say I have no help for ya in the writing department since I’m blocked at the moment. I guess tomorrow’s another day for me…but you have more to worry about.

    I’m backlogged on FNL. I have two episodes on my DVR that I haven’t watched, but now I’m intrigued. Tyra has been acting like an idiot lately as far as the student council debacle. I’ll have to watch it so I’m up to speed.

  6. Erin says:

    As much as I’d love to hear your thoughts, I do appreciate your efforts to keep from spoiling things. The rodeo dude does seem like trouble, but I kind of feel like Tyra deserves it with the way she’s been acting lately (getting the strippers to stump for her in the student council election, ditching Landry, etc.). I’m out of sympathy for her at the moment. I’m much more concerned about what kind of trouble Tim Riggins is going to get into thanks to his moron of a brother, and what will become of poor Matt when the freshman QB usurps him. And next week features the return of Jason Street!

  7. Kevin Alexander says:

    These are all great suggestions. All of them. Especially Jim’s pick. I like risk taking.

    And Tom yes, DeBarge makes me feel exactly how you feel: awesome!!! And ready to dance!

    Oh, and Erin: Yes, I def want to talk about FNL, but considering I’ve seen this entire season (OMG! DirecTV) I don’t want to ruin anything for you — surely though, that (admittedly handsome) rodeo dude sure seems like he could be trouble…

  8. Tom says:

    DeBarge. Really? REALLY? Ugh! Thanks! This is terrible. It’s Monday morning and I have "Rhythm of the Night" stuck in my head. I hate mental tape loops of bad songs! I may attack someone with a stapler before noon.

    And, um, did Hollee make anyone else feel stupid? I’m so off my game. She just rattled off all those suggestions like she does it every day for a living or something – oh, well, I guess she does, but still!

    I had no idea this blog was up until Sunday night. The only thing that makes me feel a little better is that Genevieve hasn’t commented yet, althoug Olivia did beat me to commentz this time.

    Best of luck, Kev. I hate not being able to find appropriate synonyms. Lately I’ve not even been able to find basic words I need, so you’re one ahead of me there.

  9. Olivia says:

    When I first read that comment about Columbus, I thought, "Why did he use asterisks for the word dork?" Then it clicked. Hilarity ensued. Pure awesomeness.

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect any less from you. And we all know that you had a personal relationship with Christopher Columbus during your recent time travels to Spain. I’m pretty sure that’s the real reason for your sporadic postings.

    Nice vid, by the way. ;) You have an inane ability to get me to watch youtube links that I would have never dreamed of opening on my own.

  10. Erin says:

    This is completely OT, but Kevin,I hope you eventually have time to make good on your promise to discuss the new season of Friday Night Lights in your blog. The last episode (where Smash had his college try out and Matt’s mom showed up in Dillon and Tyra ditched Landry for the rodeo dude) had me in tears! (They were tears of awesomeness, though)

  11. CMAlbert says:

    Thanks for the laugh Hollee. Apparently the humor in my previous midnight post was too subtle! It was meant soley for Kevin’s comic relief, as he sat up pondering a rose by any other name. I would never expect him to have taken it to heart, nor would I have ever personally submitted such an obscure and silly title on true editorial content (certainly not without a smirk anyways!). However, did you know that the fleur-de-lis is actually often used on a compass "rose" to mark directional north? It still has nothing to do with roses in Holland, true, but I’m getting warmer! (And now I’m really curious to know what you ultimately title this darn article Kevin.)

  12. Christine says:

    It’s comforting to know that other writers are feeling overwhelmed too. I suppose that in today’s economy it’s actually a good thing to feel overwhelmed with too much work.

    On synonyms for flower: "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." If it worked for Gertrude Stein, it can work for you, Kevin.

  13. Pat Marin says:

    Kevin, this probably won’t help but Hubby calls all flowers and flowering bushes and trees Smanthamums. Seems he can’t remember names well and never has been able to.

    Spending half an hour on one word, is that all? My critique group has been know to spend over an hour each on either coming up with a word, using the wrong word, replacing a word, trying to figure out why it is the wrong word. My favorite line after that is let the editor decide. But being an avid reader, I know the reality–like that is going to happen.

    Thanks again for helping me realize that because I am a write I really don’t belong in a mental institution. It’s just the writer’s life.

  14. Unasked for advice from a newspaper editor: Go with the obvious, too clever and no one will get it, or pass if off as artsy-fartsy–hear that death-knell? "Fleur-de-leaves" only works if the flower is a French cultivar or the reader is familiar with the scrollwork or symbolism of the Fleur de lys. Sounds good, but is not relevant to that flower if it is a Dutch bulb. Is it roses? Is it a rose he developed in Holland? Make a list of its attributes and key off those.
    ‘Nuff said.
    Now here is the important part: great blog post once again. I look forward to your posts and you never disappoint!

  15. Jim Hughes says:

    Kevin, how about "Coffee and Danish…to go" I know it has nothing to do with flowers but let’s be risky.

  16. CMAlbert says:

    How about "The fluer-de-leaves: one flower’s transatlantic journey to find its roots." ;) Good luck on this one!

  17. angie says:

    Why not "blossom" or "bloom"? Too boring? use a foreign term… like "fleur"? It’s usually recognized. Or, use the Dutch word, if they’re Dutch…

    As regards office organization… check out this company’s website: http://www.steelcase.com . They do lots of research around the ways in which people work / interact / collaborate in the workplace. maybe you’ll stumble on an idea there.

  18. Thanks, Kevin! Though your post sounds a bit manic, I feel like I’m looking in a mirror. It’s quite comforting to know that at least one other writer on the planet has an irratic thought process (A.D.D. maybe?) while writing/rewriting/editing. I don’t know why I thought I was the only one, but I did. :)

  19. Erin says:

    I feel your pain here. Another reason I decided to never become a journalist is that it takes me way too long to come up with titles. If I write novels, I have months, or maybe even years to come up with the right one! I’ll do something thinking on your flower quandray, though!

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