Isn’t it a little early for hurricanes? It sure seems that way. In my experience, we don’t have to worry about storms, and losing power, and tornadoes, and all that, until the fall, or at least late August. But now, a category 4 storm, bearing down on the Gulf coast? What’s up with that?
The news here is mostly about the bombings in London, but when they do cut away, it’s to the storm. Times like these I think it’s just so easy to get discouraged and anxious, and this morning I’ve been trying to think of something positive to write about here, something good. It’s like on the nightly news, how for twenty-five minutes there’s all this (mostly) depressing stuff, but then in the last four, they try to put in something uplifting, to play you out, as it were, on a good tune.
This is similar to the way I always gave my comments to students in workshop, what I call “the sandwich method.” You give a few good comments, praising the work (and I don’t care what you say, there is always something good) and then all your criticism and suggestions, followed by a few more good things. So you get brought up (they liked it!) then down a bit (but it still needs work) and then slightly up again (they liked it, even with the work it needs!). My editorial letters are often very similar. They begin with “We’re so happy to be doing this book, we love it this, this, and especially this,” before glossing into “Here are the things we think need addressing,” (followed by many pages of notes) and winding up with “But we’re so excited about the book!”
Unfortunately, the world just doesn’t work like this, though. Some days are all bad news, one thing after another, until you feel yourself swaying on your feet, not even sure if you can stand. What I’ve learned lately, though, is that when a lot of things go south at once, it usually means it’s only a matter of time before they improve. You have to hit bottom before you can bounce, right? Although this is hard to keep in mind as you’re free falling.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t such a cheerful entry. Oops. Well, I tried….
…and since I failed, maybe I should leave it to the experts. And it is summer, right?