Another fine mess…

Did you know that when you edit a monthly newsletter, you have to produce a newsletter every single month?

Well, you do.

You don’t publish an August issue and then just rest on your laurels.


In thirty days–fewer than that in February–another month rolls around, and you’re supposed to come up with something new. People expect it. They don’t want to read about last month.

Truly, there is no rest for the weary. Or for the wicked.
I am wicked.
I moan and whinge about the drudgery–Double, double toil and trouble–but once I start working, I also start having fun. I lose track of time. The latest issue missed my self-imposed deadline not just because the computer fell by the wayside, but because I kept tweaking: a link here, a comma there, delete this, insert that, bold this, italicize that, change black to red, red to black.
Eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog…

 With fire burning and cauldron bubbling, and so many poisoned entrails, as well as, at my disposal, I didn’t want to call it quits. Once again, I stayed up later than late, but I wasn’t laboring. I was playing. Concocting a brand new potion. Elixir. Charm. Beguilement.

If you want the pure, unadulterated version of my writing process, there it is.

And in a couple of weeks, it’s back to the cauldron again.

This time, though, there’s potential for sanity.

For the past couple of months, the assistant editor and I have been running as fast as we could to stay in the same place. Before the next issue comes out, we’re going to meet, discuss goals, nail down a format. I’ll show her what I can about using WordPress. She’ll come up with more good ideas. I’ll write them down so I won’t forget.

After we confer, the whingeing could abate.

But it won’t.

Because, contrary to decades of experience, I think I can do everything in five minutes.

Because my brain kicks in–really–at the last minute.

Because I do my best work–really–between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

Because I have these flashes of cock-eyed optimism that temporarily override my normally rational, pessimistic nature.

Because I like to whinge.

I mean, what do you think those Weird Sisters were doing, stirring that cauldron, waiting for Macbeth to wander in for a consultation? They were whingeing. It’s a good Scottish word, and they were Scottish Sisters, and, no matter how much pleasure they derived from their culinary endeavour, they’d been standing over a hot stove all night. Furthermore, quality frog toes aren’t easy to come by. What’s not to whinge about.

So expect no change. Proper prior planning may prevent weariness, but it won’t improve my character.

I’m wicked. And it’s comfortable. And I think it’s what I want to be.


10 thoughts on “Another fine mess…

  1. Yes indeed, Ms. Adams had great talent–always wondered why she didn’t pursue the singing.

    You taught me a new word today–whinge–which I first read as “whine”, which may be similar but is so common… So whinge shall go into my word journal. And, I’m with you all the way on the late night/early morning creativity! Best writing hours of the day!


    1. I think it’s interesting that when Edie Adams sang popular songs, the classical voice didn’t come through. At least, I never heard it. Which, to me, shows her versatility.

      I don’t know where I picked up whinge, but it has that certain–je ne sais quoi–that is missing in just plain old whine.


    1. I would love to begin at 4. But about the best I can do then is the ritual crossword puzzle. I need a running start of twelve to fourteen hours before thought kicks in. (Unless I’m gainfully employed. Then I wake up and go to work and work. But that’s truth-telling. Making up lies is best done after dark.)


  2. It’s a good thing they don’t burn us nowadays, isn’t it? The green smoke rising through the window as we write is a dead giveaway.

    My turn to laugh outrageously and loud. Thanks, Kathy:-)


    1. You’re welcome, and thank you for laughing. That makes the risk worthwhile. Although there’s been much less smoke rising through my window since my husband, bless his heart, cleaned our oven.

      An American lit professor emphasized that in the Colonies, witches were not burned; they were hanged. Nineteen women and one dog, I believe. And later the judges, some at least, were sorry and pardoned the women, which I’m sure was a great comfort to somebody. I wish I had asked about the the dog.


      1. That’s fascinating – why so much more merciful overseas I wonder? I’ve never looked for the British witchcraft stats. I suspect they wouldn’t reflect all those altercations around village ponds.


        1. It is interesting. It was limited in space and time as well, almost as if the colonists went a bit mad for a while and then recovered. I remember that one of the judges, Samuel Sewall, was a good man whose journals showed him to be more of a Universalist than a Calvinist. He later expressed genuine regret at what he had been part of. Now the subject has come up, I have a sudden and intense desire to know more. A dangerous feeling…


    1. Thank you, Sylvia, for the kind words. I’d like to blog about everything I know about writing, but that would fill a thimble, so I have to blog about what I don’t know.

      You realize, of course, that you are the inspiration for this post. If I hadn’t sat too close to you in church, I wouldn’t have a newsletter to whinge about.


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