The last few days were chaotic. One of the issues that I can't talk about because it involves the privacy of more people than just me was finally resolved, sadly not in the way I would have preferred, but at least it's resolved and I can stop fretting about it. I'm on-again-off-again sad about it, but I think it'll be okay. Sorry for obscurity.
I also got back my revision comments from Marjorie yesterday, and ended up writing her a long letter in response. I agree with many of the structural issues she raises (and think I know how to fix most of them), but we have some differences on character development that are worrying me. Unfortunately, she was out of the office yesterday, so she probably won't get my letter until Monday, and who knows when she'll have time to get back to me. So I'm a bit stressed waiting for her response. But it's good to get to this stage, at least, knowing what she's thinking. Progress good.
I've been reading Zadie Smith's White Teeth, which is really good, perhaps almost as good as promised (massive massive hype around this book), but which has also been depressing me because I know I can't write like her, no matter how much I might be tempted to try. My brain just doesn't think that way, with that sort of density of situational detail, with an almost Nabokov-ian funny flair in most sentences. Her opening paragraph:
Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway. At 0627 hours on January 1, 1975, Alfred Archibald Jones was dressed in corduroy and sat in a fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate facedown on the steering wheel, hoping the judgment would not be too heavy upon him. He lay in a prostrate cross, jaw slack, arms splayed on either side like some fallen angel; scrunched up in each fish he held his army service medals (left) and his marriage license (right), for he had decided to take his mistakes with him. A little green light flashed in his eye, signaling a right turn he had resolved never to make...I admire writers who write that way; I love reading their work. But I can't do it, and it makes me feel like a dumpkoff.
Plan for today; Nilofer is looking at a place in my neighborhood, so we're going to meet up shortly and take a look. Oh, it'd be cool if she moved here. She's expecting a baby in May, and I'm on tap for much babysitting, which is great, but will be even greater if she lives within walking distance. After that, I might meet Satya and take some photos of her because she needs a promo photo (she's a singer), but whether or not that happens, around lunchtime, Kev and I will go somewhere (probably Handlebar) to eat and work. The hope is that I can finally buckle down and finish all the little bits of student stuff that I'm still painfully behind on, so that I'm in a good position to face next week's sets of fiction portfolios and revised papers, which need very fast grading. With any luck, I'll be done with the semester by next Friday, and have a nice long break from teaching until the spring semester starts in late January.