11 February 2011

Can I Amend That?

If you read my blog at 6:15 AM EST, it may look different than what I posted at 12:01 AM. That is because I have amended and/or edited it. I just discovered this Blogger feature last week, and I initially resisted the urge to fiddle, because a blog is allowed to be urgent and raw. But then I remembered I'm a writer, and  revision is my birthright.

I would love to tell you these little stories spring to life fully formed and adhere themselves to the cyber-page, with hardly an errant keystroke. But that would be fibbing. The source materials spring to life daily, usually after I rub them, whisper in their ears, pull back their covers, and point them toward the shower. Then it's just a matter of standing back and listening.

Today's fun exchange, overheard between Four and Five, as they assembled a new Bey Blade, a type of fancy top:

Mom: "Four, I forgot to have you sign this Valentine."
Five:  "Who's it for?"
Mom: "Halley."
Five: "Who's  Halley?"
Four: "A new student in my class."
Five: "Oh, is she a girl?"
Four: "Yes."
Five: "I have a new girl in my class."
Four: "What's her name?"
Five:  "Ayana."
Four: "Is she a Bey Blader?"
Five: "No."
Four: "Oh."

That is the single, most important thing to them right now. I felt sorry for Ayana, who was summarily dismissed for her lack of top-spinning skills.

I will read this post at 6:00 AM, and check to see if there are any typos, because I often miss those when my eyes are bleary. I will also scan for grammatical errors, which aren't always as easy for me to catch. My grammar skills haven't been refreshed since middle school, so I mostly go with what sounds correct. Right now,  I know the teachers, and my friends who went to Ivy League schools, are scanning for dangling participles and whatnot, but I wouldn't know one if upside my head it smacked me.

The primary reason for post-posted editing is simple. I cannot work with NCIS playing in the background. And lately, the Captain has been on an NCIS jag ( a little play on words for you original NCIS-ers). It's like he's just begun an affair with Mark Harmon, or the Israeli chick, and they're in that fabulous first stage of the relationship, spending all their free time together, learning the details of one another's lives. The Captain is late to this party, and thus has to catch up on some backstory. Lucky for him, there was a marathon this weekend.

Now, I will say, with almost 85% certainty, that he would turn off the show if I went in and sat down beside him. But I've been blogging. And sometimes the post doesn't become a conscious thought until 10 PM. Then there is the writing of it, the revising, the general gazing into its eyes and reflecting upon it. Huh. It's like I'm having an affair.

Okay, let me amend what I said earlier...


  1. Anonymous11.2.11

    First, just let me say that I adore hearing (reading) the conversations of kids! Mine are all grown-ups, and while still highly entertaining (and always blog fodder, hence the many phone photos of my grand-dog) they are no longer children!
    Second, I am a huge fiddler and re-reader. Not to mention being horribly self-conscious about typos (the grammar is something I'm working on). It takes me mere moments to throw my blog together, but then endless hours to clean it enough for posting (and then I still go over it a couple of times). I also tend to type too fast, omitting entire (pertinent) words. (Have I also told you about my problem with parenthesis?)
    Lastly, I bought some ear plugs. They are pink (I didn't have a color choice, or I would have picked something else), designed for women who sleep next to a person who snores loudly. They work for blocking out police scanners, overly obnoxious computer war games, music I can't stand, and ESPN. All of which are going at the same time on the nights Daniel is home (while I am trying to WRITE and EDIT!).
    (whew, so glad you knew it was me)

  2. Oh I'm a compulsive post editor. Didn't used to be.

    Now I blurt it out, post it, and then revisit it later to clean up the spelling.

    Participles be damned! We don't care about participles in blogging. I have split so many infinitives there should be a warning label for it.

    Meanwhile, funny application of Works Autocorrect...in my novel draft, every time my mc exclaimed "Jesus!" it has been replaced with "Josh!"

    Who's Josh? Why are we invoking his name? It makes me wonder if some software engineer named Josh threw that in for giggles.

  3. Guilty. I've been known to re-read something I posted months ago (so I can remember what the hell I wrote) and think, "That's not right." Then I spend the next 15 minutes editing a post no one's looked at in forever. It's a sickness.

    Also, my newly-11-year-old daughter would totally have passed the Bey Blade test, but only for the tops. Because, "The show is kind of stupid, but the toys are awesome," says she.

    Josh. *snort*

  4. Also guilty! Guilty to the point of obsessive behavior. But I might be worse than all of you, since I don't have a blog, and therefore have no direct responsibility for content. I have no reason to care about stuff like this. I spend most of my time posting ephemeral comments about baseball and similarly lightweight stuff. You'd be shocked at how much time I spend proofreading and editing lengthy posts that could be easily expressed using short simple words and a minimum of punctation. And profanity. (Extra points on my site if you intentionally misspell something using extra consonants for emphasis!) And yet - I spend a ton of time editing, anyway. I just can't help myself.

    @Delia - I love that you go back and edit old posts. I call that commitment!!

  5. @lora: I can't even recall the meaning of a split infinitive. That's not a request for the definition; I know you're very busy educating and gestating other humans.

    @Janet: I never see the reason to be LESS wordy. Or, perhaps I should say I never see the reason in using FEWER words. Life is sometimes more fun when lived pell-mell, willy-nilly, but I like to think it would be even more awesome if we could go back a la Delia, and edit it. Also, I'm certain one follower (rhymes with "Slackabee") would hardly think the discussion of baseball to be "lightweight."

    @Julie: Yes, I have considered earplugs/headphones. Cool, giant ones, with skulls on them, as a warning to stay away!

  6. Hi Megan - Test comment!


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