Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Holidays from Big Corporate!

My company decided to give us an extra special bonus for the holidays this year--they announced that layoffs will be imminent! Woo-hoo! That's such great timing, isn't it? What with Thanksgiving and Xmas just around the corner. If that doesn't spread the ol' holiday cheer then I don't know what.

Yes, the first word of this came last week. Our sister companies in L.A., Chicago, New York and Baltimore have already begun laying people off. Our company, however, has not. We've only been told to expect it to come soon. If you're a "chosen one" you will be called in to a manager's office first thing in the morning on that very special day and then led down to HR. Then I assume it's a security escort out of the building!

So now we all just sit around acting all gloomy at work. My boss has told our group that we should be okay, but really, what does he know? My belief is that they'll start on the Monday after Thanksgiving. That way we can enjoy our turkey dinner with a stomach full of anxiety and depression--great way to spend the day with your family. Okay, so I don't see my family on Thanksgiving. Or Xmas. Or any other time of year for that matter. But that's another story and besides the point. Others at work do enjoy seeing their families. But just in case some of us have tried to put it out of our minds, big corporate decides to send out another cheerful holiday e-mail today reminding us not to worry--there's still plenty more layoffs to come!! If you haven't gotten yours yet, just sit tight.

Sera, the eternal optimist, said, "if you do get laid off you'll have a lot more time to work on your book." Of course there will probably be an initial period of depression, after which I will be able to continue writing.

But in the meantime fear has filled me with an extra dose of adrenaline to get cracking on my book. This whole message from big corporate just reaffirms the notion that I need to be in control of my own life. I don't want the holidays to be ruined because some multi-millionaire CEOs have decided to do away with the lower peasants while they continue to relish their 7 figure salaries.

So I have been working on the final version of my book. It's very difficult work laboring over each paragraph to make sure it comes out well. I'm struggling with the patience for that(at least the first draft is complete). But it's even more difficult for me to judge what's good and what's not. I'll write a few paragraphs, then get too carried away with description. Sera will read it and put me back into place.

"You're story is meant to be fast-paced, like someone's talking to you. All that description takes the reader off-track," she says. At first I'll sulk and say "admit it, my writing is terrible." But after a good pep talk I'll realize that Sera is right and I go back and edit. Then she'll read it and say, "that's much better. Now it's great stuff." But I can't tell what the hell is great stuff. I mean I can read Fitzgerald and Henry Miller and think, "wow, that REALLY is great stuff." And then I look at my writing and it reads like, "the cat jumped over the dog."

Sera tells me I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. When something of mine is published I'm all exuberant and proud. But then when I read the printed version I'm embarrassed by its inferiority and don't show it to anyone. Other times I'll write stuff that I really do think is good and it gets rejected. What am I supposed to think about all that? I really don't have a clue. But I do know that even if my novel turns out to be trash, at least I'll have a finished book. And that's another question I've got. Sera just showed me where a "novel" specifically refers to fiction. All these years and I never knew this. My book is non-fiction and therefore I can't refer to it as a novel. I'm not going to refer to it as a "memoir" or biography. What can I call this thing? I think I'll just stick with "novel" and to hell with anyone who contradicts me.


Blogger Henry Baum said...

Don't know exactly what you're writing but Kerouac, Miller, Bukowski all wrote autobiography and called it fiction so I don't think it matters.

Sorry bout the job. From an unemployed writer, I say, that sucks. Hope it works out.

The Mets got Delgado. Yes.

12:48 PM  
Blogger exley said...

That's great news about Delgado. Though I must be a bit skeptical about him after the way he led them on last winter and then went to Florida. Wonder how the fans will treat him and if he can handle it.

5:14 PM  

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