Summer was coming. Yes, summer was about to begin.
A season that would come and go only once, and never return again. All of us understood that very well, and yet we would probably just pass our days the way we always had. And this made the ticking of time feel slightly more tense than in the old days, infused it with a hint of distress. We could all feel this as we sat there that evening, together. We could feel it so clearly that it made us sad, and yet at the same time we were extremely happy.
—Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi
the coffee here isn’t my favourite because it’s too weak for my tastes, but it’s one of my favourite places to write. the people are friendly, the food good, and the atmosphere wonderfully studious, and they don’t mind if you sit with your laptop for hours. also, the owner went to cal, and the wifi pw is “beatstanford,” so there’s a throwback to california (plus, the brother went to cal, so i’ve got cal pride by proxy).
had an awesome writing session today (after an oral argument practice that was a mess; a public speaker, i am not, especially not in a legal sense), and the day was beautiful despite starting off grey, gloomy, and rainy. also had one of those days where i feel really fortunate and lucky and blessed to be a writer and also very encouraged to work hard and not give up, so it’s generally been a good tuesday, and i’m three days away from flying to california and seeing the family again! the brother’s flying down, too, so spring break is lining up to be even better! can not wait.
(“If I had a camera,” I said, “I’d take a picture of you every day. That way I’d remember how you looked every single day of your life.” “I look exactly the same.” “No, you don’t. You’re changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit. If I could, I’d keep a record of it all.” “If you’re so smart, how did I change today?” “You got a fraction of a millimeter taller, for one thing. Your hair grew a fraction of a millimeter longer. And your breasts grew a fraction of a —” “They did not!” “Yes, they did.” “Did NOT.” “Did too.” “What else, you big pig?” “You got a little happier and also a little sadder.” “Meaning they cancel each other out, leaving me exactly the same.” “Not at all. The fact that you got a little happier today doesn’t change the fact that you also became a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you’re the happiest and the saddest you’ve ever been in your whole life.” “How do you know?” “Think about it. Have you ever been happier than right now, lying here in the grass?” “I guess not. No.” “And have you ever been sadder?” “No.” “It isn’t like that for everyone, you know. Some people, like your sister, just get happier and happier everyday. And some people, like Beyla Asch, just get sadder and sadder. And some people, like you, get both.” “What about you? Are you the happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?” “Of course I am.” “Why?” “Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”) —Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
i’m kind of just tired all the time now.
and i’ve still got this eggs benedict craving i’ve had since last november …
and i’m one school week away from spring break!!!
(from episode 3 of “musicgraphy.”)
(i’d love if they made a lot more of these.)
And then I thought: Perhaps that is what it means to be a father — to teach your child to live without you. —Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
retronoisette replied to your post: —
how do you manage to stay motivated during the editing process? I write a lot and by far my least favorite activity is rereading what I’ve written.
i might be biased here because i’ve actually come to love editing — i didn’t always because i think editing is so much more tiring than writing, but i just love seeing all the drafts in my folders and how much my stories have grown from first draft to final. i think that’s my main motivation — seeing the fruits of my labour and feeling that swelling of pride … X:
i always have to give myself space between writing and editing because it’s hard for me to reread something i’ve just written. i’ve found that reading my work out loud helps, though, once i’ve let the story sit for a few days, because the act of speaking the words puts a little distance between me and my writing, so i do read all my work out loud constantly throughout the editing process.
other than that, i’m a very visual person, so i like editing by hand on paper because i personally love the sight of a marked up manuscript. that visual mainly keeps me motivated during the editing process; it’s just so satisfying, especially because it’s a very physical way to see progress and, because i can see the story changing and improving in front of me, that feeds me incentive to keep at it.
seven down, two to go: some of these stories need a lot of reworking, but that’s part of the process. what matters is seven down, two to go.
alternate routes through europe: some days, i feel glum, so i think of the places i would go if i could travel.
Only the last page was different. It said: THE DEATH OF LEOPOLD GURSKY. Litvinoff felt a gust of cold in his heart. He glanced at his friend, who was breathing heavily. He started to read. When he got to the end he shook his head and read it again. And again after that. He read it over and over, mouthing the words as if they were not an announcement of death, but a prayer for life. As if just by saying them, he could keep his friend safe from the angel of death, the force of his breath alone keeping its wings pinned for a moment more, a moment more — until it gave up and left his friend alone. All night, Litvinoff watched over his friend, and all night he moved his lips. And for the first time in as long as he could remember, he did not feel useless.
As morning broke, Litvinoff saw with relief that the color had returned to his friend’s face. He was sleeping the restful sleep of recovery. When the sun had climbed to the position of eight o’clock, he stood. His legs were stiff. His insides felt scraped out. But hew as filled with happiness. He folded THE DEATH OF LEOPOLD GURSKY in half. And here is another thing no one knows about Zvi Litvinoff: for the rest of his life he carried in his breast pocket the page he’d protected all night from becoming real, so that he could buy a little more time — for his friend, for life.
—Nicole Krauss, The History of Love