The Show Must Go On

13 - 1 (1)Twice daily visits to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to visit my newborn daughter eat up a lot of the day. It is terrific to observe her progress. She’s getting bigger every day and should be coming home in, perhaps, a week.

Fantastic. But I still need to keep writing.

So at the moment I’m beginning the second draft of a short story. Now, I prefer to revise and edit on paper. That means I always print out the manuscript of the second – and even the third – draft. I find it easier to read the text and easier to skip about through the story on paper rather than scrolling through pages on the computer screen. It’s easier to scrawl notes and circle sections and draw arrows. My editing is thus probably indecipherable to anyone but me.

With this story the first step was piecing together a paper puzzle. I neglected to paginate the manuscript. I also neglected to extend the paper tray prior to printing. So the document cycled through the printer and drifted sheet by sheet to the floor about five-and-a-half feet below, coming to rest in random order, like a shuffled deck of cards.

So, to work.