Revisions + Jelly Bracelets, Yellow Shoes, and My Award-Winning Boyfriends

"Did I already say that?"

I'm very, very close to the end of this round of revisions. So close that I should have no problem jumping in, tightening up, and polishing the prose until it's sparkle-pretty.

I should have no problem.

But, of course, I do. Because the problem with revisions is that the more I edit, the more I question: Did I make the right changes? Did I make enough changes? Is this better or is it worse? Am I forgetting something?

And the dreaded . . . did I already say that?

Because I've looked at this novel so many times I've lost the ability to tell what's on the page and what's in my head. Honestly. I don't know what I've written anymore. I am way, way too close to it.

The lack of sleep thing doesn't help either. Tonight I came home from work (The One That Pays) and crashed for four hours. The nap was supposed to be half that, but I couldn't wake up. My body is telling me ENOUGH, and I'm telling it, "Oh, please! Just a few more days!" Then, upon waking, I made myself my evening cup of coffee (so backwards) and promptly dropped the entire French press upon the floor.

Miraculously, it didn't break.*

But the signs are adding up -- it's not the first thing I've dropped this week. I've also been smacking into door frames, nodding off on the toilet, and getting annoyed at minor inconveniences ("WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE'RE OUT OF SOY MILK?? I WILL DIE WITHOUT SOY MILK!!!"). Very attractive, I know. I'm a great big Ball of Joy.

At this point, I need to trust myself. I have to say, "You know, the novel is probably okay. MORE than okay. Why don't you let someone else look at it for a while?"

This is hard.

Because the more I doubt my words, the tighter I grasp onto them. That sinking feeling of failure is looming overhead. What my readers tell me these changes haven't made a difference? What if I'm right back where I started? What if it's worse than where I started?

Gah. Enough doom and gloom.

"Where's the happy?" you ask. "BRING ON THE HAPPY!" And I'm totally with you. So here are three superficial-but-true things making me smile right now:

Jelly bracelets.
I've decided the time has come to reintroduce jelly bracelets into my life. I'm thinking, like, a six-inch chunk of rainbow-and-black jellies on my arm. I keep finding myself searching massive lots on eBay, under titles like: ***rubber bracelet ~JeLlY~ punk RaInBoW madonna GaY iNteResT***

(When did I turn into a raver? Promise to stop me the day pacifiers become a Good Idea.)

Yellow shoes.
I totally need some bright yellow shoes, you guys! I think I'll go the ol' do-it-yourself spray paint route. (Sorry, Daphne, if I just made you shudder.) I have a TON of plain black flats that could use a little love, and it's been a while since I've had an easy, fun project.

The Grammys. This was the first year I've ever watched the Grammys. Usually I'm not that into the music nominated, but I'd heard rumors that both Coldplay AND Radiohead (!!!) were playing, so I tuned in.

You know, to support The Boyfriends.

And it was a lovely night! Radiohead won Best Alternative Album as well as the Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for the In Rainbows discbox. (Yeah, I know. I had no idea that last category existed either. But, still, a deserved win! The discbox is puuurty.)

Thom and Jonny also performed "15 Step" with a FRIGGING MARCHING BAND! Which was so inspiring and exciting and, like, painfully cool to hear their electronic noises being duplicated by brass and percussion. Genius! Jarrod and I kept saying, "Those sousaphone players must be POOPING themselves to be playing live. At the Grammys. WITH RADIOHEAD."

(Only we didn't say "pooping.")

And, like so many predicted, it was a great night for Coldplay too. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends was my favorite release last year, and I'm happy so many others loved it too! They played "Lost" and "Viva La Vida" and took home three awards, Best Rock Album, Song of the Year, and Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. (Why Rock and Pop? This is why I don't normally watch the Grammys. So confusing.)

"We're not, of course, the heaviest of rock bands -- you may have noticed," Chris Martin said. "We're kind of the limestone of rock bands. Not as hard, but still charming."

This, incidentally, was the first time since Chris moved in that he and Thom have seen each other in person. I was worried about how Thom might react, and sure enough, it set off a flurry of texts:

THOM: i only came b/c they said he wouldnt be here
STEPH: I hope you aren't talking about who I think you're talking about.
THOM: he just came up to me and was like, ooo, thom, great performance
STEPH: ??? That sounds okay to me ???
THOM: it was the way he said it

CHRIS: OMG! Guess who showed up!!
STEPH: Are you behaving yourself?
CHRIS: Of course!
CHRIS: Why? Did he mention me?

STEPH: He means well. He's a huge fan, you know.
THOM: tell him i have enough fans thank u very much
STEPH: That's kinda rude.
THOM: your house is too crowded
STEPH: I KNEW that's what this was really about!
THOM: bugger off

STEPH: He MIGHT have mentioned you.
CHRIS: I came off too strong, didn't I?? Maybe I shouldn't have worn my Kid A pin?
STEPH: But it looks so nice on your rainbow jacket.
CHRIS: I know!
STEPH: Can I borrow your jacket?
CHRIS: To go with your jelly bracelets?
STEPH: See THIS is why you live with me full time, and Thom does not.

STEPH: bugger off yourself
THOM: i love you
STEPH: I love you too. Be nice to Chris.
THOM: bugger off

Sigh. I hope some day Thom realizes Chris means well. They'd get along, if he only gave Chris a chance! Chris is really sweet AND he's generous with sharing his musical equipment. Jarrod has been thrilled to experiment with all of his fancy guitar pedals, and the two of them talk about Pro Tools and cables and microphones until my ears fall off.

Like right now. Which is why I'm blogging.

There's only so much one can take.

*Jarrod just kissed me goodnight and said my breath smells like an old man who smokes cheap cigarettes and never leaves his house. So apparently I have also lost the ability to make decent coffee.


  1. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single line of this post that I did not love.

    And can you please have even more celebrities/musicians move in, because those conversations are THE BEST THING EVER, and I want more of them.

    Also, I hope you moved Jarrod to Chris and James' bunk beds for that comment. (Just kidding.)

  2. Ha! Genius post Stephanie. I LOVE the (verbatim, right?) conversation between you and your boys. Thanks btw for reminding me that the Grammy's were on -- much appreciated! And was I alone in thinking it weird that Gwenyth (Gwyneth?) was the one to introduce Radiohead? And GEEZ was it a gushingly praise-y intro! Much deserved mind you, but I thought it was interesting given, you know, who she's married to...

  3. You guys are so sweet!! Thank you!

    Kiersten -- We're still waiting for the bunk beds to arrive. We had to order a special size, because of Chris's super long legs. (Which means poor James will be swimming in bed next times he visits, but oh well. Have to take care of the permanent members of the household first!)

    Jim -- It's because Gwyneth is totally jealous of me & Chris right now. She's expressing her anger by rubbing it in his face how awwwesome she thinks Thom's band is. Funny thing is, the only person it's bothering is Thom! He doesn't want anything to do with her either.

  4. Good point, Steph. You've got your priorities right. Besides, hopefully James will be staying for an extended trip in New Zealand soon.

    Oh, Hobbit, please just cast him already and quit tormenting me so!

  5. Steph, I dread the day that Thom finally admits he loves Chris in return and they elope together, leaving your bunkbeds sadly empty (except for wee tiny James, lost amid the stuffed animals).

    As for jelly bracelets, I can only get behind them if they're edible. Yes? The yellow shoes too. I want edible shoes.

    Is it lunchtime yet?

  6. Kiersten: is there talk of James for Hobbit? I have not heard this? Are you making it up? I like. I like.

  7. It's true! There are James Hobbit rumors!!!

    Thom is free to love Chris -- it'll be SUCH a relief when he does -- but they aren't allowed to elope without me.

    (And I'm totally laughing about James lost in the stuffed animals. Maybe he and Gael Garcia Bernal can share a bed. Gael is teeny weeny too.)

  8. First: hahahahah! (laff)

    Second: have you seen those ANIMAL jelly bracelets?
    When you wear them they look like thin rubber bands, but when you take them off they are in the shapes of animals!!!

  9. Okay - This made me laugh out loud. I can't wait to read your killer book.

    P.S. I am posting a post soon that is entitled, "Chris Martin Understands Me..."

    But don't worry, he's not interested in me. Like that, ya know. But I've decided that he gets me.

    You can read it in like a week or so.

    Happy Valentines Day!

  10. No! Don't spray paint your shoes!!! Every cell in my shoe-loving person winces at the thought. I'm sure there will be plenty of yellow shoes coming out for the spring... take pity on me and get some.

    Yeah, I used to work at a shoe store. Which was really just a way for me to get free shoes.

  11. A really short person told me how cool you are and how awesome your critiques are. So I'm sure your MS is awesome, no stressing.

    When you get/paint your yellow shoes, please, please post them.

  12. mmmm. candy bracelets. not shoes though. Laini's floors ect. must be a lot cleaner than mine.

    I loved your post, serious and funny. Maybe you should take a wee break and let someone else look at your novel. Your brain will keep working on it anyway.

    And thanks for the bookmark tip that you gave us last time you were revising. I've been using it and it saves me so much time!

  13. myrna -- YAY! I'm happy you're using bookmarks. I'm still (almost unreasonably) thrilled about them too!