We have our first copy-editing and proofreading exam tomorrow, and instead of studying like I should (they call it “revising” here?), I’ve been furiously editing every piece of text that comes my way… including this blog.
It started when I realized that I had misspelled marshmallow in yesterday’s post. It is not spelled marshmellow. There is no such thing as marshmellow. I had somehow convinced myself that marshmallow was the plant, and that marshmellow was the sugary confection roasted over an open fire to make s’mores. This is not the case. It’s not even remotely true. I don’t where I got that idea, and I owe someone from college an apology, because I was wrong about the marshmallow.
So I went through the past 20 entries or so and did some light editing. I didn’t change any of the underlying meaning, but I fixed sentences that ended with prepositions and capitalized Lent. Little things like that have had my attention all day, and I hope it was adequate preparation for the exam tomorrow.
So, something big happened at the Vatican today, and it’s all really exciting. This is the first pope from the new world. This could have some good implications.
However, something else happened today that was ground-breaking and life-changing and squeeeee-inducing wonderful… the news of the Veronica Mars movie.
If we MARShmallows want to see the Neptune High class reunion, we need to raise 2 million on Kickstarter in the next 30 days (incidentally, I did not know Veronica Mars fans were called marshmallows!)
There are some really cool inducements. Ideally, I would want the perks of a $5,000 pledge: a private screening for 50 in your hometown, plus all the basic T-shirt, DVD, and movie poster swag. But I settled for a much more realistic number.
So the campaign just hit 1.9 million, and it’s only 7:30pm in the States. I’m probably going to pull an Election Night special and watch the results roll in. It really is incredible… $2 million in one day.
There are times when I wonder if this is the right path for me. On Friday, I visited Hodges Figgis for the first time, and I started wondering what it would be like to not “be in the industry.” Like, if I were a doctor or lawyer or an office girl and had just decided to browse the bookstore on my lunch break – I wouldn’t be watching the bookstore staff arranging display tables or selecting my titles with quite the same amount of “professional interest.” And, in this alternate universe of mine, I would have had more money because I would have chosen a career in a better-paying industry.
It does occur to me that I don’t truly appreciate literature. Sometimes I think that reading was my self-education, and as high school got dumbed down, I clung to that as my escape route. It’s not that I loved literature, it’s that I had to read or die. I am so bogged down at school right now that reading, even when it’s a book that genuinely interests me, has become a slog. Listening to people talk about books all the time is kind of annoying. I’m in two literature classes right now: in one, I can’t find a toehold in the conversation or gain any traction with the underlying theory, and in the other, I am just flat out wrong in my understanding of the reading. This has been going on every week since January.
So sometimes, yes, I think of jumping ship, or at least getting a book-agnostic job that pays well and frees up time for creative pursuits in a leisurely, non-tortured fashion. I think I would have made a decent accountant. This is part and parcel with the whole “majoring in the humanities at a liberal arts school” strategy – what the hell was I thinking? And at the back of my head, a whispered answer: that someone else was going to pay my way through life.
In a way, grad school at 30 is sort of a last chance, although I know nothing in life is final and I’m obviously too stupid to give up, no matter what the signs are telling me. So I decide not to worry about getting ahead on my essays and instead sit down to read that book for class that had interested me but I didn’t think I could finish before Wednesday (and, in reality, probably won’t), and it’s good and within three pages I’m crying about the old man who has a stroke and sits at the window making chirping noises so the birds come to have conversations with him, and it gets better. Slowly, it gets better.
I’ve been pouting for three straight days because Before Midnight screened at SXSW on Saturday night and I couldn’t be there. To make matters worse, tonight, in about 30 minutes, my favorite Irish musician is playing an acoustic gig on campus, just across town, and I still can’t go. You know why? Because grad school is hard. I’ve got three weeks of class left, an exam and a paper due on Friday, and my internship is finally gearing up with a full day tomorrow. Not to mention the 462-page book I need to have read by Wednesday. I simply don’t have time to have fun. There are worse problems to have, I know, but I just need to have my little temper tantrum right now so I can sit down and do some work.
The plus side? I got permission to write about the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset films for my travel literature class. The angle I’ve chosen works without me having seen the third film, so I’ve just been watching the first two on iTunes and taking copious notes. When I finally do get to see Before Midnight, I will be so prepared and appreciative that it will have been worth the wait.
But being responsible really does suck.
This morning was absolutely gorgeous. I went for a run, strolled through the farmer’s market, and stayed out in the sunshine for as long as I could. I shopped healthy and even broke out the TOMS for the first time in six months. No more SAD for this girl!
I was supposed to write a paper today, but instead I stretched out on the couch with the balcony door open and read the young-love passages of Save Me the Waltz. I should have felt guilty, but it was bliss. After that long, cold, lonely winter, I had almost forgotten why I wanted to be here in Galway.
Good thing I enjoyed it when I did. Within hours, the temperature had dropped and the newspapers started calling for frost and snow next week. My mood plummeted and I face-planted into a red velvet cupcake with butter cream frosting (remember how I was supposed to give up dairy for Lent?). Oh, well. I needed to do some homework anyway.
It’s International Women’s Day, which is good enough reason to celebrate female authors.
I just finished the first draft of my essay on Zelda Fitzgerald – wife of F. Scott and the inspiration for his iconic flappers. Her own novel, Save Me the Waltz (1932), was written in a month during her second stint in a psychiatric clinic. She sent it to Scott’s editor, Max Perkins, without her husband’s knowledge. Scott was incensed when he found out.
The essay is for my Copy-editing and Proofreading class, so we’re focusing on the relationship between author and editor. The work flow between Zelda and Max was unique, and it’s impossible to talk about Save Me the Waltz without mentioning Scott. He essentially served as the novel’s first editor, and it went to print with some glaring errors.
I’m re-reading the novel now, and though it is as wildly metaphorical as my research has warned, Zelda Fitzgerald has a way of describing some truths of the female experience that few authors ever get right – including the great F. Scott Fitzgerald.