Sunday, November 16, 2008

explicatus, apologia, errata and pizza

A quiet day? Well no, a turbulent day, even if much the turbulence is of my own doing. Disagreeing with friends over the possibility of comprehensive health care for all, disagreeing with my occasional traveling companion over whether “not having the DNA for it” frees us from duty toward another, disagreeing with family members about travel, disagreeing… oh, let me stop here.

Just one more: arguing with myself as to how to recompose the mood of a chapter, the long ago written chapter of my Great Writing Project.

An accomplished author once told me that you cannot go back and rework a book that you had written and left unpublished, unpolished, unfinished several years back. The changes in your life will put you in to a different mindset. You cannot, should not write as if you were writing then and so you must write as you are now. Meaning, you should rewrite the whole thing.

I am getting to the point where this is how I approach the finished chapters (roughly one third of the Great Writing Project):

The first dozen rewrites led to an improved product.
The second dozen rewrites led to a way improved product.
The next two rewrites made me squirm a little: I wasn’t in love with what was there when I opened the folder.

I feel that if I wait a significant amount of time to finish this, I will hate the whole thing and never let it go anywhere except to the garbage can next to Bagels Forever on University Avenue (which is where I dumped some twenty journals from my adult years when I concluded that I hated every word I put on paper in those years.)

Hence my current disgruntlement. My public (and eventually private) apologies.

Tonight Ed and I, our DNA differences notwithstanding, found comfort in excellent pizza, and let me recommend that to you if you find yourself after a day of toilet cleaning, Great Writing Project hating and a generally feeling bearish. If you are in Madison and you cannot afford a flight to Napoli and indeed, you do not even want to struggle with parking near Porta Alba (another excellent pizza place, but inconveniently downtown), do go to Brutta on Monroe Street. It has the smell (and taste) of burning wood, the sauce is legit and the crust is as it should be. Food is the great mellow-izer.

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