January 26, 2012

the reread begins

A graduate student on a maternity leave came in yesterday with a photo of her month-old baby. She was elated, buoyant, energized. It made me happy to see. I don’t know many people with children, but PPD, at least in some low-grade form, seems to be more of the rule than the exception among my friends. (And why not? What with the sleep deprivation and radical realignment of one’s life in service of another, I’m amazed and relieved that anyone manages to thrive under the circumstances.) Today I’m in the middle of helping another graduate student who recently returned from a maternity leave figure out how she might downgrade her current Ph.D. to an M.Sc. She’s worn down and doesn’t think she can finish. I’m trying to be helpful while at the same time giving her the space to consider all of her options (putting the degree on hold again, etc).

Tonight I’m finally going to buckle down and reread the Draft…the one I sent in on October 15th, after an intense three months of radical cutting, ordering, and writing. And thus begins the next stage of editing. Until I reread what I have, I can’t be sure how much work it’s going to entail. I do have a feeling that I might need to put back a number of things I cut, or reimagine them somehow so that what I left in isn’t so thin on the page. There are some parts of the story that could endlessly expand in my imagination, and others I feel like I barely know…and don’t even care to know. It’s amazing how, if you’re not careful, your story can wriggle out of your grasp and race into places and characters you’d rather not write about. But for some reason they got in there and won’t be ignored. Hmmmph.

My editor and I have agreed on a deadline of March 12, which seems awfully soon, but I think more time can be wrangled if needed.


Samantha said...

Good luck on your reread and the work that might/will follow!

saleema said...

Thanks! Still looking for my resolve..!