Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Revision Woes II--all dressed up and nowhere to go

I've got all these great ideas for fixing trouble spots in my WIP (work in progress). Instead of just rewriting rocky patches, incorporating the material in other ways. "Oh, by the way" paragraphs/chapters, and so on.

And here I am without a computer, so I can't do any of it. Unless I do it the old fashioned way--pen and paper!

At least, now, I want to get started on revision very very badly!

My work is backed up online and on thumb drive, and I have a printout of the whole thing packed away with my books. Also, I have the first 45 pages with me.

But I'll believe that the back-ups have worked when I see them on my computer, one way or another. A doubting Thomas!

Worst case scenario: I have to rewrite the whole thing from scratch--apart from the first 45 pages.

But this is how some writers revise, in any case. A bit scary. The scariest part: reconciling version one and version 2. Not a problem if version 1 is lost in cyberspace!

And sometimes the blank slate is the best route to a lean and mean manuscript.
Richard Dana's (2 Years Before the Mast) sea trunk was lost, with his extensive notes and various specimens. All he had to work from was his small journal--a log, really--and his memory. And the book was probably better because of it. [I've just finished reading this book on my e-reader, and it's a surprisingly good read. Less verbose than Moby Dick, at least.]

Gentle blog reader, you'll be happy to hear that I've finished venting my angst!

I'm baaack!--sort of!

Alternate title: Computer woes.
Another title: Don't bring your Apple computer to Egypt.

I fried my power cord, and it doesn't look as if I can get another one here--not even ordered from Cairo.

So I'm blogging from a really nice internet cafe.

And I'll probably be buying a cheap PC laptop, so that I can stay connected conveniently.

And I'll be waiting eagerly for my shipment to come. All the boxes that are in storage in central TX. I need my books! And now I badly need the extra power cords that are packed away in a box somewhere, I think.

It's good to be back blogging, y'all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Not so windy after all

Well, the khamsin wind was still blowing on Friday morning. But the farmer women were out in the fields, gathering hay or straw. And the donkey carts were going up and down the road. Business as usual, because the work has to get done or perhaps you don’t eat. This is life for many people in Egypt. The life of farmers everywhere.

I decided to try wrapping a cloth around my head, Bedouin style. The scarves I tried weren’t right, but a voile curtain was. I got it fixed perfectly, with the ends anchored. I had the long end pulled across my face, covering nose and mouth. And then I pulled the long end loose and let it hang free. I thought I looked quite fetching. Though maybe not quite Gertrude Bell (T.E. Lawrence’s contemporary, whose bio. I haven’t read yet.)
Now I was ready for anything! Blow, khamsin, blow!

And then I saw the news videos on the internet, about the tornadoes in Alabama & elsewhere. Suddenly, my little romantic khamsin excitement seemed insignificant and silly.

I’m writing this sitting under my grape arbor, now and then glancing across at friendly Qurna Mountain. The breeze is blowing strong and warm, hot even. It’s a scorcher today in Luxor--106 degrees Fahrenheit/41 Celsius. A heat wave all this week. But on the west bank we have fields and trees and breezes.

Now that I’m living around the corner from one of the great temples of ancient Egypt, in my delightful little/roomy house/apartment, I feel like on of those eccentric foreigners of the old days. Well, eccentric at least! Hopefully not as eccentric as Om Sety, who lived for decades by the temple in Abydos. I might do a post on her. We’ll see.