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January 19, 2017:

THE ART OF FUTZING AND FINESSING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish having JUST finished writing for the day, and yet I am sitting here like so much fish doing more writing. I actually finished the writing for the day around six – eleven pages, including a few new paragraphs I added when I was futzing and finessing the previous day’s writing. But wait, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

I was up at ten after eight hours of sleep. I had a telephonic call, did a few other things that needed doing, and then I began futzing and finessing. I added, removed, smoothed and was pretty happy with everything. I always enjoy the futzing and finessing part. Because I plow forth and write quickly, other than going back occasionally and adjusting something as I’m doing it, the futzing and finessing is really the rewriting part and sometimes it can be a little and sometimes it can be a lot with a lot of additions. After that I wrote a few paragraphs of a new page, and then I went and had an omelet and a bagel, after which I came directly home since there was no mail and no packages.

Once home, I just dove into the sequence I was in, the beginning of the penultimate chapter. I basically knew what had to happen, but as always new things come, new ideas, plus it’s hard sometimes to find the right approach and the right shape. I wrote eight pages very fast and got almost the entire sequence done, but I knew it wasn’t quite what it needed to be. But I then had the luxury of going back and working on it, since I’d basically written nine pages already and it was fairly early in the afternoon. The fact is, I kept revising it over and over again, changing this, adding that, adding detail, and working relentlessly on one section of it that was not working the way it needed to – an explanation a character makes. I probably rewrote that one paragraph of dialogue about six times, but I think I got it to work and we’ll see how I feel coming to it fresh this morning. But I just kept reworking those eight pages for the rest of the day and by the time six o’clock rolled around I’d finished it, added another two pages and that was the eleven for the day, plus the three or four I was already ahead. But for strict count, I did twelve pages of the new chapter, not taking into account all the other stuff I wrote or added for the previous chapter. I then took a very long break, which I really needed.

I listened to an SACD, one of those magnificent RCA Living Stereo three-track affairs – Stokowski conducting various Rhapsodies. If they were making the album today they’d probably call it a Rhap album. We don’t allow groaning here at haineshisway.com. The SACD had a lovely performance of The Moldau, the first piece of classical music I ever heard, and even though I didn’t think I knew the Hungarian Rhapsody of Franz Liszt, boy did I know it – how can you not know all those themes?   The sound was amazingly amazing and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Then I did some stuff on the computer, looked at the pages I’d written, revised a few things, and then the computer crashed – every program unresponsive. So much for whatever that kernel fix was that I updated yesterday. Clearly something is still awry and I truly believe it’s on Apple on not the actual computer. I’m wondering if it’s an El Capitan thing and if I do the upgrade to Sierra if that will solve everything. I had to shut the computer down manually and relaunch everything and then it was fine. I did lose the last line I’d written because I hadn’t been able to save quickly enough before the crash (believe me, I save literally every ten seconds). But Word has their auto recovery program and that saved the line, although I’d protected myself by photographing my screen before shutting down. I’ve asked the senior tech to call me today – we’ll see if he does. If he thinks upgrading to Sierra will help, I’ll do that with him on the phone.

At some point I went to Gelson’s, as I needed an evening snack. I got some cucumber roll and a couple of drummettes, and came home and ate them all up, along with some low-cal ice cream. Then I took a hot shower, was able to figure out how to use a little idea I’d had that I couldn’t quite make fit anywhere, and I wrote two-and-a-half additional pages to the previous chapter. So, the total new page count was, I’m sure, at least fourteen if not fifteen. And I crossed over the 200 page mark by six pages.

Today I’ll futz and finesse, then I have a work session for the Kritzerland show, so I probably won’t get to any new pages until that’s finished, and then I’ll probably only do two or three before I go get some food. I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I will write, relax, write, relax, maybe listen to an SACD (slowly but surely I’m catching up), and then write – I hope to do the eleven pages and maybe a few more and I suppose depending on how productive I am I’ll be close to the end of the current chapter and then I’ll begin the final chapter of the book, which will be at least as long as the first chapter. But we’ll see where I am by the end of the evening.

Tomorrow will be all writing all day and evening, although I may just try to find a dinner companion so I can have a nice meal. Saturday is more of the same, as is Sunday. And by Sunday I should be within spitting distance of finishing. Knowing me I’ll just keep writing until I am, and then I’d futz and finesse like crazy on Monday, Xerox, and get the remaining pages to Muse Margaret.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, futz and finesse, have a work session, write, eat, hopefully pick up packages, write, relax, write, write, and write. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite historical novels? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy the futzing and finessing yielded several new pages and that it remains one of my favorite parts of making a new book.

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