Thursday, June 10, 2010

Waging War with the Sinuses

This may be a good day for me to avoid human contact. My sinuses are currently staging an armed rebellion. I fought back last night by drinking V8 with horseradish and Tabasco (my mom's surefire cold/sinus cure, with a twist). As stuffy as I am, I can't really taste much, so I didn't realize I'd possibly put a bit too much Tabasco in, until my lips started tingling. The sinuses rallied and staged a fierce comeback, so I think today I may go for curry. Or, if it turns out that I'm right and the new place in the same shopping center with the curry take-out is a Chinese take-out (the business name is rather ambiguous), maybe hot and sour soup. Meanwhile, I've made a lot of progress on the shoulder, and the scar tissue around the joint has loosened enough that it pops as the shoulder moves. I've got a lot more mobility, but that popping doesn't feel great. I'd better make sure to dose up on Tylenol before tomorrow's therapy appointment because that may be the time she manages to break through the scar tissue when she bends and twists my arm around. Although the results will be what we're aiming for, I suspect that will not be Happy Time.

So, yeah, pain plus stuffy head=not a very happy, cheerful me. I will prevail because I'm stubborn that way, but I'm not sure I can manage "nice."

While I was lying on the sofa, moaning about my stuffy head, last night, I came across the movie Hope Floats on one of the cable channels. I saw it at the theater when it first came out and watched it as one of my mood-setting retreat films before I wrote Don't Hex With Texas, but this was the first time I watched it since learning that the screenwriter would be adapting Enchanted, Inc. I cheered for his name in the opening credits (allergy medication was involved), but then I found myself really paying attention to the writing, and now I'm even more eager for my movie to get made. Yeah, there's the money and the boost it would probably give my career, and I think the world needs more fantasy romantic comedies, but I really want to see what this guy does with my story. I think I could learn a lot about structure, pacing and dialogue by seeing what he takes from the book to put into the script. There are so many lovely little moments and lines that linger in my head from Hope Floats. I may need to get that movie on DVD because it counts as "comfort food" viewing.

I must say, though, that the story was rather creepily prescient about what ended up happening in Sandra Bullock's real life. When her character's husband's infidelity was revealed on national television, it was intensely uncomfortable because of the real-life parallels that have happened since then.

In writing news, I'm still plugging along on rewrites. I spent most of yesterday working on one scene. It's a big, pivotal scene, and what I had in the first place was more of a placeholder. I had the dialogue and the action, but no emotion, and it should be a very emotional scene because there's a lot of shock going on -- it's a big revelation scene where one character finds out what's really been going on all along, and it's not what he expected. But it is a shock, so I've been trying to find the balance between a total freak-out and complete numbness because it's too much to process. I went through a couple of different drafts yesterday, moving things around, trying to find the truth in the characters. How would they really react? What would they say or do? If something is too much to take in, how do you process it? I may play amateur dramatic society today and try to act out both roles.

That is, if my sinuses cooperate. I may resort to eating salsa out of the jar. I hope we get a little more rain today to really wash the air out.

Okay, a quick Internet search has revealed that the new place is not a Chinese takeout. It's an Indian sweets shop. So, looks like I'll be resorting to curry to deal with the stuffy head.


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine swallows garlic cloves. She says it helps tremendously! And she's a preschool teacher, so she gets sick a lot. I've never been brave enough to try it, but apparently she does it often enough that she just bought a garlic peeler/slicer from Pampered Chef, so it must really work well for her!

I love hearing about how you do your writing and rewriting and such. It will be really neat when the book comes out and I can read it and compare it to things you said about it during the writing process. Except, of course, I'll have forgotten what you said about it by the time it goes through the process of rewriting, editing, and being published. Oh, well.

I'm curious about your rewriting process. When you go through and do new drafts, do you just sort of go through the draft, look for anything that needs improvement, and figure out how to improve it? Or do you go through your drafts multiple times, each time with a specific goal in mind (like, "this time I'm going to focus on character" or something)? Or something else entirely? I just got a book about how to edit so that I can improve my process, and since I love your final product so much I'm curious how you go about it!

Shanna Swendson said...

I mostly do a "story" revision to fix plot, pacing and characterization, and then I do a "word" revision to focus on sentence structure, word choice, not repeating words, and that sort of thing. I will fix words in "story" mode if something jumps out at me.

I may do a pass focusing on specific characters with this book because there are a couple that aren't living up to their full potential. I get too focused on the plot to play with little details.