Sunday, November 06, 2005

Idea Overload: Adventures in (trying to finish) Editing

Well, as further proof that I am perpetually too excited by ideas for projects to stay focused on just one, I've been working on an article when I should be editing my fiction manuscript, Visions.

People often ask writers, "How do you get ideas?," not understanding that once one learns to think like a writer this is never an issue. Inspiration tends to strike around every corner--the hazard is in trying to juggle the overstock. These I hastily jot into a trusty four-inch spiral notepad--I have a Palm Pilot but typically stick to pen and paper lest fleeting ideas leave before I can switch the PDA on and try to remember the Graffiti equivalent to the letter K.

The inspiration now competing with my book for shotgun seating began as a conversation with a coworker. Both of us being film buffs, we were lamenting the endless smorgasboard of leftovers Hollywood has been dishing up in the form of remakes, sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. Neither of us had any hard facts to this effect, but we FELT it. Suddenly I decided this sixth sense warranted further investigation, and the idea for an article was born.

The first draft of Visions had just been gingerly tucked in for a pre-editing hibernation period when the idea hit, so I felt I had spare time (after a fashion) to undertake the new project. Makes a good story, anyway. Days stretched into weeks, then we picked up and moved, and suddenly the manuscript began whining for attention from its lonely box in the corner. So now my writing personality is split into fiction/nonfiction components, with research, interviews, and queries fizzing away part of the day, the fiction manuscript suffering brutal strokes of my editing pencil the rest.

Then there's my recent arts and crafts binge, which I blame on idly clicking a Cool Site of the Saw a tote bag made out of woven magazines and have gone purse crazy making these out of family photos as well as magazines for fun, family, and posterity. I need a crafting intervention, and I need it now.

In any event, though my desk looks like a paper mill exploded and the dining area has enough fabric, magazines, and supplies to warrant an entire crafts fair, the work progresses on all fronts. The book is fifty pages into its second editing revision; research for the article is complete, the query written, and interview questions being undertaken; my newfound craft will help solve the dilemma of what to get the womenfolk on my Christmas list.

And I swear that once this article's finished I won't start anything new until after the book is finished and query sent out. Except there's this neat window hanging from dried orange slices I need for my kitchen. And the other day I had a fun idea for a story about a haunted clock. And then there's that great idea I'm going to have tomorrow. ack.