The process of my husband and me editing the book is finally drawing to a close. I was going to employ the term word “laborious” to describe what it’s been like, but the word didn’t seem to capture the fullness of the experience. I went to thesaurus.com and found a bunch of synonyms:
arduous, backbreaking, burdensome, effortful, fatiguing, forced, heavy, herculean, labored, onerous, operose, ponderous, rough go, stiff, strained, strenuous, tiresome, toilsome, tough, tough job, wearing, wearisome, wicked
Yes. All that. Especially operose. I’ve never heard that word before, but if it means something tedious and hard, then yes, it was indeed an EXTREMELY OPEROSE process. Anyway, I’m probably going to send the draft to my agent by the end of next week, at which point I’ll shut up about the book for a while.
…Until my agent gets back to me with his feedback. At which time I will churn out one neurotic update after another, clogging my Twitter followers’ feeds with cryptic but ominous-sounding messages, writing a series of posts on my blog whose titles will likely look something like:
- 5 Tips for Dealing with Abject Despair
- When You Want to Die
- Even When You Feel Like a Talentless Fool, God Still Loves You
- Remember: God Can Bring Good Out of Even the Most Hopeless Situations
- Sorry I Haven’t Been Updating Lately; I’ve Been Busy Sitting in a Corner, Staring at a Wall While Clutching a Bottle of Wine
My dad told me a crazy story the other day: One time a friend of his named Bob was camping out on a ranch in West Texas. Bob and a buddy had seen a huge rattlesnake while they were out that day, but left it alone. At dusk they found a place to sleep and got in their sleeping bags. The next morning, Bob woke up to realize that there was a very large snake in his sleeping bag, down at his feet. That’s right. I said “WOKE UP TO A SNAKE AT THE BOTTOM OF HIS SLEEPING BAG.”
Let’s pause there for a moment and think about that: You wake up. You feel a huge snake at your feet. You think it could very well be a rattlesnake. You’re not anywhere near a place where you could get medical attention. And you know that if you try to get out of the sleeping bag the snake will likely get spooked and bite you. How do you get out of that situation? Think about what you would do, and I’ll tell you his friend’s clever solution in take #7.
One of the moms in my daughter’s preschool class had a great idea for celebrating the teacher’s birthday: She suggested that each child bring a single flower, which would then be assembled into a bouquet. The result was beautiful:
Each child brought a homemade card as well. It ended up being a lovely, meaningful gift that even those of us on tight budgets could easily swing.
Why didn’t you tell me about Audrey Assad? Well, I guess Marc Barnes did. So maybe the problem is that I’m not a good listener. But I do think that at least one person should have emailed me personally to demand that I stop what I’m doing to go check out Assad’s music. Anyway, I’ve listened to Restless about 20 times since I bought it on iTunes yesterday. It’s got Augustine references, beautiful melody, a voice that makes tone-deaf people like me wonder if this person is the same species that I am. What more could you want in a song?
There was a lot of interest in that Vatican Astronomy Camp I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Some folks asked for the link, and Kayla (who has a great blog) kindly found it for us: Here you go. Thanks, Kayla!
The answer from #3: Bob got his friend’s attention — painstakingly, since he had to avoid, you know, moving or breathing or otherwise doing anything that might upset the snake. He told his friend to build a fire right next to the sleeping bag. Once the fire was going, Bob gently pulled open the top of his sleeping bag and had his friend fan smoke inside (just about suffocating as he tried not to cough). It worked. The snake got irritated by the smoke and came slithering out. And it turned out not to be a rattlesnake after all.
So, the moral of the story is: This is what happens when you leave the house. First you think it’s a good idea to take a walk, then you get adventurous and start riding bikes places, then camping starts to sound fun, and, long story short, you end up trapped in bags with poisonous reptiles. People like me never have to deal with that, because we are smart enough to stay indoors at all times. Next time someone suggests that I get out a little more often, I now have a reply that will render all their arguments invalid: Snake in sleeping bag.
“Jen, do you want to go camping with – ?” SNAKE IN SLEEPING BAG. “But don’t you want to go on the hike to – ?” SNAKE IN SLEEPING BAG. “Shouldn’t you at least go to the grocery store for – ?” SNAKE IN SLEEPING BAG!!!