Thursday, September 21, 2006

500 beginnings, one fresh start

I just finished a project for work that involved reading the first three pages of about 500 stories. Even though a lot of those stories were really good, it made me a little crazy in the head. My brain was like, “This is not what reading is supposed to be. When I finally surpassed the not-so-adventurous adventures of Janet and Mark and moved onto real books and decided that, fine, fine, I liked reading, this is not what I signed on for!”

Here is what I learned:

1) Good writing is not hard to find. Great writing is. Right now I’m finding it in Middlesex. My brain was like, “Oh, right, this is how good it can be.” Like going from an at-least-he-doesn’t-hit-me relationship to true love. It’s so layered and delicious and funny and complex. Not just a story but a world.

2) I love finishing projects because it gives me an excuse to begin my life fresh immediately afterward. I’m not sure what that fresh start entails—everything I did today was just like everything I did yesterday except that today I didn’t read any manuscripts—but it feels new and special. That’s the real reason I’m pretty good with deadlines—it’s not responsibility so much as OCD and a deep longing for purity.

3) I need new glasses. My eyes are tired and bad.

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