Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Update

Scant blogging the week as things got a little squeezed, but here's what's new ...

* Only advanced five pages in the manuscript, but did a ton of editing. Still, before I can add one more page I have days of work ahead of me, beefing up and reorganizing the outline. Have I mentioned that writing a book is really freaking hard?

* Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. My Rabbi gave a wonderful sermon about reinventing yourself as a result of self-examination. Very inspiring.

* Speaking of inspiring, Susan Henderson outdid herself this week over at LitPark, with a blog devoted to a discussion of genre versus literary fiction. I was also completely enthralled by an essay she linked to. It's an excerpt from David Morrell's THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST, and all writers should read it.

* I've been helping my 16-year-old study for the PSAT, and am feeling pretty disheartened by the whole thing. The kid has a rather astounding vocabulary, but the test seems more geared toward ferreting out autism, as it hones in on subtle emotional shades of meaning and intent. Here's an example of a question following a brief paragraph:
The author's attitude toward the "young man" (line 2) is best described as:
(a) irate
(b) envious
(c) critical
(d) indifferent
(e) apprehensive
My son thought the answer was (e), which wasn't a bad response. The author did seem apprehensive. But if you pay close attention to the emotional nuances of every word, you understand that (c) is a better answer. This is frustrating to me because he knows the precise meanings of all these words, but that's not what he's being tested on.

* Today is the last day for residents of New York State to register to vote. So if you haven't already done so, please don't waste another second. Click here. It only takes about three minutes.

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