Cave Dwelling with Gobo and Eugene

Greetings, from “the editing cave” where I’m busy revising The Love Square. Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned:

  1. I have a lot of “staring” happening. He stared at her, she stared at him, etc. etc. I’m working on it, people.
  2. There’s no good word for a female half-laugh– “giggle” sounds too silly and “chuckled” sounds like something an old man would do. “Stifled a laugh” works sometimes. “Scoffed” seems weird. Hopefully you can help me out with this. Anyone?
  3. Before submitting my manuscript for publishing, I went through and took out all of my seemingly unnecessary commas. However, my editor has been adding many of the deleted commas back in. I’m never going to understand commas. Still, love, them, though, and, don’t, care.
  4. I could spend the rest of my life editing this manuscript. In the beginning, I found myself re-starting at page one every night and finding something to change or add or subtract each time. I had to cut myself off and keep the wheels moving forward.
  5. I like editing. It’s nice to get lost in your story and your characters in such an in-depth way. During NaNo and while writing that first draft, I tend to spit out the words just to get them on the page. With editing, the real writing tools come out and you can apply things you’ve learned. Every sentence receives your undivided attention.

So that’s where I am. Muddling through, hoping to make it better with each pass. Is it Hemingway? No. Is it the best book I’m ever going to write? Probably not. I hope to learn more and more as I progress down this path. Still, I’m confident it’s a good contemporary love story that’s worth the reader’s time.

Onto something irrelevantly relevant. Who remembers Fraggle Rock?

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Ah, the Fraggles! Weren’t they the greatest? My kids have the first season on DVD. The coolest thing about the DVD set is that it comes with a replica of Jim Henson’s notebook, dated April 3, 1981, with his thoughts while developing Fraggle Rock.

This discovery (we’ve had the DVD set for years and I had no idea the replica notebook was included) made me so freaking happy. Look at some sample pics:

It’s his actual notes!

Now, look at all those scribbles. Back in ’81 before the days of Word, this was how editing was done, I guess. I love that he used a notebook like this to scribble his “concept for an international children’s television show” called: “The Woozle Show or Woozle World or The World of Woozles or Woozle-Woozle!”

In the notebook he describes his idea for Doc (“the old codger is warm and lovable but you probably wouldn’t call him bright”), Sprocket the dog (“The Dog, whose name is George, is of course a Muppet . . . the Woozles drive him crazy”), and obviously, the “Woozles” (“Woozles are pretty wacky, have a lot of energy, and when all else fails, somebody shouts “Let’s sing about it!” and they do”).

But I think the best part of the notebook is when JH describes the meaning of the show:

Our first job is to make this world a lot of fun to visit. It is a high energy raucous musical romp. It’s a lot of silliness. It’s wonderful.

However, the second thing that we’re doing with this show is saying something. The show has a direction and a point of view. This will be beneath the surface, and if anybody becomes very aware of it, we will have missed.

What the show is really about is people getting along with people, and understanding the delicate balances of the natural world . . . . We will make the point that everything affects everything else, and that there is a beauty and harmony of life to be appreciated.

I just love that– “A beauty and harmony of life to be appreciated.”

I also appreciated reading the notes in Jim Henson’s handwriting, with scribbled out words and added carets and other editing marks. For example, in the quote above when he writes “we will have missed,” originally his notes said, “we will have failed.” He crossed out the “failed” and opted for “missed.” I think that says a lot, don’t you?

As for Fraggle Rock , in my opinion, it succeeded in its mission. I enjoy watching it now as much as I did as a kid. It transcends generations for exactly the reasons that JH contemplated–on the surface it’s funny and high energy, but underneath are subtle undertones that resonate without overwhelming the viewer.

While Fraggles are lovable and silly and fun, unfortunately there’s an opposite end of that spectrum. His name is Eugene Peppermint and HE’S BACK:

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He’s creepy and weird and not one bit of fun. He is the anti-Fraggle (I do think he’s happy to be free of my underwear drawer though).

Of course I forgot he was supposed to come out yesterday. I thought maybe the kids wouldn’t care. After all, last year we had a conversation about how parents move the elf with Christmas magic.

No such luck. Either the kids forgot about that conversation, didn’t understand what we were saying, or chose to ignore it in light of the miracle of the holidays. Meh. Here’s to hoping this year is Eugene’s last hurrah. In the meantime, I’ll suffer through another season of the dumbest thing ever invented.🙂

And that’s the news from my camp here in NJ. Next up on WOAW: Answers to Friends trivia! As always, thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your November.

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