Friday, July 10, 2009

how to translate and not kill orchids

Last night while B cooked another one of his creative meals, I sat at the dining room table "translating" my novel from first-person to third.  *sigh*  What work, but I think it works.  I've had to dip into the writing of other authors who are successful omniscient narrators.  Some Garcia-Marquez, Isabel Allende, Carlos Fuentes.  I know they are the greats and I am no where near them but if you surround yourself with greatness, maybe some will rub off. There are specific challenges in this new style that I am struggling with, that internal voice that is often the easiest to reach for in storytelling.  But, this is only a test.  We'll see how it goes.  

What was most interesting  about transcribing is that it was actually transcribing.  I had a printed copy of what I was rewriting and I hand-typed it, none of this copy and paste laziness. Typing out each word, each turn of phrase, gave me perspective that I wasn't owning before.  I am a pretty damn good writer.  When I'm writing, I'm so in my head that I don't even think about my syntax of manipulation of language.  But in careful rereading, I impress myself.

Speaking of impressed Beau and I have been watching Deadwood on dvd. Pretty brilliant.  The characters are genius and their language is mind-blowing, even all the excessive cocksuckers. I've never seen a show with such complex characters. They have monologues!  When was the last time you saw a monologue in a television show?  We're only on season one but way addicted.  Cecil and I, on the other hand, have been watching Weeds. Brilliant in a whole different way.

My balcony garden is lush as fuck.  I sit out evenings breathing in the slightly acrid scent of the tomato plants.  I have heirlooms growing and can't wait to taste them.  I also have sage, basil, peppermint in my edibles.  My succulents are bright and happy in the sun, the African fire sticks looking fiery.  My jasmine is about to bloom again and has started climbing the bamboo stakes I erected around it.  I also have a few orchids I bought for a dollar each at at orchid show last fall in Balboa park.  I didn't expect that  would keep them alive but they made it through the winter. The balcony is crowded with all the plants but a couple of nights ago B was moving a chair out there and he brushed aside an arm of jasmine.  I cried out in joy.  One of my orchids is about to bloom. I am not an orchid killer.  I am thrilled.

Be My Husband
Nina Simone

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