Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I never wink back at fireflies

I had big plans tonight. I was going to read and write and edit and read some more.

I ended up watching Time Bandits with Sophie. It was an excellent way to spend an evening. We sat around munching on homemade chicken fingers and chortling at the awesome special effects in the 1981 classic film by Terry Gilliam. Sophie noted that the Supreme Being looked an awful lot like the Wizard of Oz except the WoO had better effects.

She kids because she knows the Monty Python guys can take it.

Anyway, I've been dinking around with the novel manuscript - not that I can be bothered to pick it up off the floor and work on it - but turning it over in my head, considering some character development, tying up a couple of loose ends and even finding a way that makes the ending more entertaining (I hope). I'd put it on hold for a long time - months, I guess, but it's been backstroking its way across my stream of consciousness for a week or two and I actually added Edit at least 10 pages on History We Don't Know to my To Do list this week.

Me having a To Do list is huge.

Me adding a goal for the manuscript is massively huge. Like the giant in Time Bandits who wears the ogre's boat for a hat huge.

Today something happened that cinched it though. It being the fact that I have to get back to work on the revisions for this book and get it out there for rejection or publication. I don't even give two shits anymore. I just want to finish it.

I was getting ready to run some errands and I dropped some coins into my hoodie pocket. The coins sounded funny. I fiddled with them and they clinked with a higher pitch than usual. Did I accidentally scoop up that franc from my summer in France? I reached into my pocket and dug out three quarters. One of them was from 1944. Made of silver.


Part of my manuscript is set in the 1940s.

I'm seeing the signs. It's the yellow lab roaming the neighborhood this afternoon and Teri's post about writers and labs. It's me cleaning out the garage over the weekend and saying to MathMan, "That is not mouse poop." and then running the line from Ferris Bueller's Day Off through my head over and over. You know the line, right? He's in the restaurant pretending to be Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, and the maitre'd threatens to call the cops and Ferris takes the phone and the rather rodent-like maitre'd grabs for it and Ferris says "You touch me and I yell rat."

And then I go upstairs for dinner and what's on TV? Ferris Bueller. And there's that scene. My ears pop, perhaps my nipples hardened. I'm seeing signs because why can't I hold onto the ridiculous, the nonsensical? If I can't buy liquor on Sunday because somebody's god might take offense, then I'm going to see signs and omens in 1944 quarters, rat poop, movies and dogs.

How about you? Do you see signs? (Smart remarks about No Parking, no smoking signs, etc. will get you a purple nurple. I know some of youse guys and you won't be able to resist.) 


  1. The short answer is no. Although that talking frog on the shoulder of unicyclist in the lavatory might mean something. But he's speaking Danish so I can't be certain.

  2. I'm still waiting for that sign which will tell me the six winning numbers in next Saturday's lottery. I get it regularly, the problem is, it never comes till Sunday *sigh*

  3. I see them everywhere. Yesterday, as I was taking my kid to dance class I saw a license plate that read 2 FOR 10. Hmmm, I thought. Then, as I was returning home, I saw another license plate that read 2 FOR 5. I shit you not. I'm thinking there's gotta be a bargain coming my way.

  4. Speaking of "to do lists" and to done lists. Have you noticed the ads for Ace Hardware talking about not wandering around a big box store all weekend and going to Ace to get supplies and get things done. The irony I see is that the Ace Hardware stores in this area are all closed on Sundays, so if you need supplies on Sunday, you have to go to a big box store!!

    Other than that I haven't seen any signs or omens, but then again I don't get out much. And the voices don't talk to me anymore, not any less, but not any more.

  5. Falling rock signs are okay though, yes?

  6. I find those signs to be kind of creepy, but I too think they must mean something, right?

    So if not mouse poop....what?

  7. I always feel much better when I get some of those "to dos" off my list. The problem comes when more "to dos" come down the pike. At this rate I am never going to get ahead and I take that as a sign that it all really doesn't matter in the end, except to me :)

  8. I still remember when all Canadian coins except pennies were made of silver. The US changed the metal content in 1964 and four years later the Canadians followed because yahoos were making a killing taking truck loads of spare change across the border. They were much nicer than cupronickel or whatever slug-metal is used now.

    Time Bandits is still one of my all time favorite movies. Maybe you could watch Brazil with her next time. Then again, maybe you should lock yourself in your room til that book's done and then Terry Gilliam can turn it into a major motion picture.

  9. The biggest sign of all might be that you're wanting to wrap up that manuscript and send it out and not give a shit what happens. It's kind of like when you have to go to someone's wedding and you can't, for the life of you, find anything new to wear. But if you're NOT looking and have no money, the cute outfits are jumping off the racks at you. Or how, when I had given up on men, had finally had enough!, and found a one-bedroom apartment for me and my dog in another city, Lo And Behold I met my (to be) husband and we were married 3 months later.



    Shit, I'm not even crossing my fingers for you, because you don't need it.

  10. I'm so glad it's calling you back! I think of it as serendipity... but I ALSO think when your heart is ready you see the signs you might have ignored a month earlier. This is psychology, sister... you are ready. (If you need a crit partner at some point, holler, and I am featuring you tomorrow under my L recommendations, just as a heads up)

  11. I take this post as a sign that I want to read your book. I lurve the 1930s and 40s.

    My favorite sign was the no foot tapping sign at the International Celtic Fiddle competition.

  12. Let me get this straight? Matthew Broderick makes your nipples harden? 1986 M.B. or 2011 M.B.?
    Does it matter?

    Isn't the really big question Why didn't the Babe De Jour who played Sloane ever act in another film? (and yes, yes, I did Google her, and I know she has been in other films, but let's face it, it was all down hill for her after FBDO...) Still, at least she didn't marry a clotheshorse!

  13. I see metaphors. That lab is not a dog, it's your thoughts, dogging you! Christ almighty ...

    Apropos of nothing, my fortune cookie tells me I will soon live in 'elegant surroundings.' Am I living in a hovel? I think I've just been dissed by a fucking cookie.

  14. Serendipity can come in such large doses that it's impossible not to take it personally...

  15. I'm so happy you enjoyed time like that with Sophie. And, I am happy to hear you're thinking about your manuscript again. YAY! But, I know what you mean about wanting to just get it finished already. I've been struggling with my own book for what seems like a lifetime.

    Signs? Hmm... I'll have to think about that.

  16. i've been looking for a writing spot. somewhere i can go for one night away from my house with nothing but my laptop and manuscript to wrap the mutherfucker up once and for all. every place i looked into was more money, too far away, excuse, excuse, excuse...and then:

    our house is in a subdivision, but our backyard bumps up to a 150+ acre farm with hiking trails, two large ponds, one huge old barn and one smaller one and an old farm house. the old man who lived there passed away last year and his sons have been keeping it up, letting small groups camp on the grounds. this weekend i went for a walk and crossed in front of the farm on a road that i usually don't drive down. there on the fence that guards the farm (and runs right up to the old tree-lined gravel road to the farm house you can't see from the street) was a sign that read: "Rental suite available"

    turns out that they are now renting out the farm house for the weekend, "...for artists and such," they told me.

    my writing retreat has turned out to literally be in my own backyard.

    on another note, i always loved Time Bandits.

  17. Signs. you know I believe in them.
    I see your 1940 and raise you 1938. Why oh why do I hate research so and decide this was the bright and shiny idea to follow?

    I think when you're getting tired and it's time to reject or publish is a sign that you'll be able to edit the hell out of it.

  18. I hate it that blogger is such a pain to reply to when it comes to comments. Thank you all for these wonderful (as usual) comments.


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