Creature of Habit

I am a creature of habit. At least, that’s the nice way to put it. And it’s nice to be nice. So. Yeah. We’ll go with that. If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory (TV show, not actual theoretical beginnings of the universe) you’ll get it when I say the way Sheldon is with his “spot” on the couch: that’s me when it comes to my parking space at work. Same spot. Every day. And if someone else parks in it, my entire day is thrown off kilter and it seriously bugs me. It’s not even a good parking space: but it’s the one I ALWAYS park in, which makes it important to me. And I have been called “Sheldon” several times for that. It is what it is, and I am what I am. And those are my deep philosophical statements of the day.

It’s been a while since I have worked on my thorough edit/revision of my novel, Alyraekas (unless and until the title is changed). Like my other WIP, that kind of took a backseat during the time I was hammering out the remainder of my NaNoWriMo book, The Scent of Silver, and doing everything I could to get it prepared to go out to agents. Now that I am taking a breath from that, I am returning my attention to what I have come to think of as my “life’s work” series, which includes Alyraekas (or whatever books it gets broken into), Rune (my current WIP) and the at least one other book that will come after it. This is where my passion really lies. Although, I must admit, I’ve been having some difficulty refocusing. But that’s another post.

I worked on Rune for about 45 min. of the allotted half hour I gave myself, then allotted myself a half hour to work on revisions in Alyraekas. I went to my computer case where I generally keep the folder with the current pages for revisions and all of my revision tools. The folder was in there, but when I went to grab the other necessities, none of them were there. I don’t know where they went. I don’t know why they went. Maybe they got fed up with my absence and defected to another book bag. I don’t know. But the fact of the matter is they were gone.

I stood at the table, fiddling with the pages to be revised for a few minutes, trying to convince myself to just grab some other pens and use them. But I can’t. At least, I can’t do it and feel right about it. Creature. Of. Habit. I have a system, a very specific system I use when revising. The bright blue Pilot G2 gel pen is used for fixing things already in the text: grammatical errors, changing words, crossing out “thats” and other unnecessary text, adding a half a sentence here, switching up the order of the sentence there. The black Zebra F-301 ball point is used for inserting new text: a whole new sentence, a new paragraph, an extra scene. When the new text is just how I want it, tweaked perfectly, I highlight it with a yellow highlighter. The highlighter can also be used to draw special attention to certain of the blue revisions, or mark a spot I need to return to later, once future revisions and additions tell me what needs to be there. All of my tools were missing: blue pen, black pen, yellow highlighter. And I didn’t have any extras of the right type in my house. Consistency is very important to me: I couldn’t use a different color of blue pen. That would throw me off.

So, deciding I had little other choice, I hopped in my car and ran to Kroger.   A little extreme, maybe, but it’s only 5 min. from my house, tops. When I arrived, however, I found they did not HAVE bright blue Pilot G2 gel pens: only the red and black ones. And they did not HAVE Zebra F-301 ball points. Of any color. Distressed, but not to be denied at this point in the admittedly insane venture, I determined I must drive to Walmart (an additional 7 or so min. away). So, I spun on my heel…and was momentarily distracted by the shelves of books. I tried to walk away, started to, but I mean, how can you resist a book with a title like The Day the Crayons Quit? So, naturally, I had to go back and read it. That accomplished (and convincing myself I did not, in fact, need to buy said book), I spun on my heel and returned to my car and made the drive to Walmart. Fortunately, they did in fact have all of the tools I needed. Breathing a sigh of relief, knowing I could now truly focus on the important aspects of editing and revising (instead of stressing about not having the right pens) I returned to my house, successful and ready to roll!

So, yeah. I’m a creature of habit. If we’re putting it nicely. But hey, you gotta go with what works!


~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on June 23, 2014.

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