I’ve just been reading and re-reading the reviews of my story ‘Still Waters’ by other students. Interesting reading. I’m more comfortable with the second read, than I was with the first reading of what they have said. I’m terrible with criticism, even with constructive criticism. What surprises me, is what others see in my writing that I don’t think I’ve put there. ‘Still Waters’ is intended as a short story, complete in itself, with no further to go. In fact, it is a re-hash of something written about a year ago for the local Writer’s Circle. It got a lot of appreciation there. Fellow students who have subsequently read it, are quite complementary but want to put their own construction on the story: to miss bits out that I feel are essential to the story; to add bits to it, that in my view would change its nature and my style. That’s probably just arrogant on my part. In my reviews of the writing of others, I’ve tried to comment on what they have written, rather than what I think they should have written. My difficulty was that two of my fellow students appear to have English as a second language and that has complicated things.
So, today, heart in mouth, I have re-edited my TMA02, its commentary and my EMA proposal. I think it is as refined as it is going to get. I’ve found the editing difficult. I enjoyed writing the original story and was relatively comfortable with it. Two people made really helpful comments when I posted it on the draft TMA forum. Subsequently, I’ve edited and re-edited it about four times: that is five different versions of the original story. Then I got muddled up about what went where. Then I tried to put into practice what others had said. Then I tried to include aspects of the teaching on the course. Consequently, I became very confused and then ratty with myself and with my wife. But not with the dog. I think it is now as final as it is going to get. But, when I re-read it before posting tomorrow, you can bet there are alterations to make. It just never seems to be finished. Then when it does get posted, I will be seeing all sorts of flaws and necessary corrections and amendments. Hey, ho! Just get on with it. The EMA proposal started out at 600 words and needs to be about 300. I’ve done that but only by missing out lots of connectives and sentence subjects. More note form than prose. Hope that’s OK.
The ‘Gota Fria’ is still doing its thing outside. I shivered and shook all through Spanish today - because I got soaked walking the few yards to the hotel where the lesson takes place. I chill so easily these days. The dog has been reluctant to go out and get wet. And we have had no water. I had assumed that it was because of the storm. No. A stop valve has not stopped in the technical hut, resulting in a four foot flood of water swamping some electrics. Tony called later this afternoon to say that he and Glen have sorted it for the time being and we can make a cup of tea and flush the toilets. Until the plumber comes. The airport is still closed. 40 kilometers away. It must be really bad up there. And Jeanie is showing me ‘Facebook’ photos of snow nearby. Hopefully not coming down to us.