People Have Been Asking

imagesQ2KRKJRDWhenever I am forced, as I have been this last month, to sit at my desk, unrelentingly, working and reworking someone else’s written product, ad infinitum, to the exclusion of all other thought, like a convict chained to a ball, I become a tad, shall we say, snarly. A titch unfriendly. I go about my work and chores with my head downcast, teeth clenched, dreaming at night about being made human sacrifice by alien overlords. When finally, in that dream, I saw my friends running free across a heartless desert while I floated balloon-like overhead wearing a dress of barbed wire and white toile, I felt serenely happy they had been released and deeply sad I couldn’t be with them. JESUS H. ROOSEVELT CHRIST! I began reading Vietnam War novels again. I knew the Thai dish Evil Jungle Princess had been named for me personally. Last week I could have taken on the entire Vietnamese fucking army singlehandedly and won. Handsfuckingdown. Just give me the goddamned machine gun and take off the fucking safety if the thing even has one.

But today the sun is out and the project is off my desk and it has stopped raining and I can think again and speak without scowling and its warm enough to have on a short skirt and my hair is down and I am sweetness and light again. So yes, I am well. Going through revolutions of ridding myself of needless clutter, cleaning out a writing room, and preparing to shift gears.

Upcoming Posts
A newly released state geologist report puts half my house in the “High Danger Zone,” meaning, I suppose, that I can spend half the night sleeping in peace and half lying awake contemplating my great investment’s current market value

• “Yes, Ma’am, the Trails are Safe, but I Can’t Guarantee the Geology”
As Trail Crew Foreman Dan Blackwell once said to a Grand Canyon hiker who stopped to inquire. After Rockville’s fatal rockfall and Washington’s fatal mudslide, one has to wonder what’s going on. The New York Times’ Timothy Egan wonders too.

• Winter Solstice 2013
A tribute to our friends Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey killed in the Rockville rockfall




4 thoughts on “People Have Been Asking

  1. about editing other people’s writing: now you have a glimpse of what it’s like to grade 60 lab reports from students who cannot write.

    1. Oh, god, yes. The people I edit all day can write. And I do get to change anything that needs changing. But that last push to deadline is grueling.

  2. The job: Executive editor for 250 ego-soaked Los Alamos scientists, many of whom could not write or communicate in any other decipherable code or mode. Happiest day. After pulling my screaming brain and eyes through what felt like an interminable report, came to this fine final sentence: “The deliverable on this project will be a structurally stiff member.” When the Editor-of-Us-All called from the Government Printing Office, it didn’t take much to convince her to let the conclusion stand as sent and written. It was the only good news either of us had seen in, oh, several thousand white papers, journal articles, Congressional presentations, etc.
    Just brought back some wine from a friend’s Northwest winery. Stop by.

    1. Oh Susan! That is priceless! Maybe I’ll try inserting that line in one of the 1,000-page documents I edit and see if anyone notices. I truly believe I’m the ONLY person who reads every word.
      xo G

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