Did I mention at any point that if I could pick a superpower, it would be to understand everyone? No language barriers, communication barriers for any reasons at all. I could talk to animals, etc. etc. I have always been interested in communicating.
Well, maybe I have always been interested in talking. My middle sister once said, I think it was when I said I had a sore throat and it hurt too much to talk, that she actually got to say something. I was talking on my way out of the dentist’s office after having my three remaining wisdom teeth pulled (hm) and my mouth stuffed full of cotton balls and I was talking–I think I was arguing that I had never been out for forty-five minutes having my teeth pulled. The evidence was sort of stacked against me on that one. Yes, three empty sockets in my gums and bloody cotton were pretty good circumstantial evidence. I will talk until I just about lose my voice and I sound squeaky and my voice breaks. One time I was complaining about having a sore throat and my SO said, “Well, you could stop talking,” and I looked at him as if he’d grown another head. I talk to my plants, when I’m not killing them from forgetting to water them, I talk to my car, I talk to my computer, and of course I talk to my cat. He even answers back. He’s the perfect cat to ask “Kitty say what?” because he’ll meow at you right on cue.
I thought about this for two reasons. One, I got together with a friend today and we talked non-stop for over two hours. Two, there’s a little guy in my class who also likes to talk, only it’s very hard for me to understand him sometimes. I truly do try. Today he was standing a little way away from me telling me “Naked mouse.” At least, this is what my brain heard. I asked him if he could please repeat it, because I didn’t understand and I wanted to. “Naked mouse.” Sequels to Naked Lunch aside, I could not for the life of me figure out what it was, until suddenly it struck me that one of the words was the name of one of our other students, just the way he says it. I never got the second word. But he was happy I got the one word, and didn’t say anything else about it. How would I feel if I went around and felt like people only understood me fifty percent of the time? There’s always the possibility that’s true, because i have been a little on the incomprehensible side lately, putting wrong words in sentences, calling students by the name of the last student I looked at instead of the one I am looking at. But that’s just me being in the state of mind I’m in, or my synapses misfiring, or melting. This little guy tries very hard. My teacher in the class had a great strategy when he first started–she’d ask him questions she knew he knew the answers for, so she could find out what sounds he made for what letters, etc. I think it’s awesome, that she took the time to do that. But now that phrase is indelibly marked on my brain. Naked mouse.
In a way, this does segue over to writing (I really did want to write something about writing–my SO and I have discussions about interrupting each other–mostly him interrupting me, but I do it too. He said what really drives him crazy is when I interrupt myself and jump to a completely different topic. I can’t help it. My mind jumps. It may leap and bound as well. The rest of me is a bit too sedentary.)
I am in a bit of a conundrum. I put out Aithin, people have read it that I don’t know and have liked it enough to ask when the second one is coming out, because they actually want to read more. This has really happened. From someone I don’t know. On their own, they weren’t prodded by hot irons by my friend who recommended the book to ask the question.
At the moment I’m in the middle of completely vivesecting the first one to make it flow better with the rest of them. However many of them there are. I use that term because in a way I do feel like it’s alive. It’s fluid. I’ve ripped it apart and changed things, some drastically, some not at all. I don’t like the way I wrote some parts of it. It seems fake, and some of the explanations for things don’t make any sense. I started the “revised” edition a week or so ago. Two weeks ago, I suppose, but I really didn’t stop to think about the fact that there are people who liked it the way it was. Ultimately, who do I want to make happy, me or them? Maybe they’d be happy with the new version. They’ll still have the old one. Maybe it’s like a Choose Your own Adventure book except it’s choosing the beginning, not the end. Will this cause problems for me later on? To have different versions floating around?
I feel like my writing style has changed since I wrote it. I’m not sure if it’s a better writing style or just different. I know authors evolve over time. I’d sort of like to have at least the one series sound the same. Not sound the same, just have the same sort of flow to it. I’m getting deeper into the characters earlier–other people seem to think there’s character development in the first one but I don’t see it. Of course it’s going to need to be edited, and there will be parts that are just plain stupid that will have to be taken out. Or parts that just drag. But am I doing it a favor by doing this to it? Should I just leave well enough alone and chalk it up to the fact that it’s the first one and there are going to be differences, they’ll get better as I go along?
I’ve always felt a little like once things are down on the page and “published,” they are somewhat sacred and should be left alone, no director’s cuts, unedited versions, versions with words changed because they might be offensive (not that I have any, just saying), turned into 3D novels or anything like that. It’s done, committed to the page. If you don’t like it completely, well, it’s sort of too bad. Move along, folks, nothing to see here (just a vivsected novel lying in the middle of the floor gasping as it’s creator tries to figure out what to do with it).
So, maybe what I should do with it is let it lie. Just not work on it for a bit, and see if I still think it’s a good idea when I come back to it. If people like what the original is, and want more, shouldn’t I be happy with that, and look to improving the next one? Not rip the first one apart? Yes, there are parts that make me cringe, and parts that make no sense. My friend still thinks it’s better than a lot of the things she’s seen out there when she looks for something to read. Am I trying to talk myself into leaving it alone? RIP, Aithin, you are what you are, in your strange green and purple cover, overpriced because you’re too long (talking too much).
This has given me more to think about, now. Are you pondering what I’m pondering? Nah, probably not. Narf.