My Saturday night officially ended when I watched the Butcher eat the brownie/Oreo/peanutbutter thing that had been sent home with me for him. He was speechless for a second and then he said “That was good” with such richness incredulousness in his voice that I laughed. It must be weird to eat something that was unknowingly designed to be the perfect dessert for you. But that thing was made for the Butcher, though neither he nor the baker knew it.
I had a really lovely evening hanging out with friends and getting to know some cool new folks. Every once in a while–and by that I mean a lot of the time–I am amazed by the really awesome people I get to know here. I mean, I know the obvious explanation is that I, too, must be so awesome or something, but you know, I’ve lived a lot of places and never had this kind of huge community of awesome people and I know amazing people who live in communities where their awesomeness goes unrecognized.
So, you know, as much as I’d like to be “Yep, it is because I am the shit,” it’s really not. It’s something special about this place at this time and these people. I’m just the lucky beneficiary. Ha ha ha. Is it too late to have Bruce Springsteen write me up a follow-up to Glory Days about a gal who is living them now? Can I hope I get more than four years’ worth of said glory days?
But most importantly for my goal-achieving, I had a long talk with the Professor (in which I learned that the Starbucks at MetroCenter will–and I am not even lying–heat up your banana walnut bread for you. I’ll give you a second to come to grips with the awesomeness of this. I will take that second to reminisce about that banana walnut bread. Okay, let’s carry on with this paragraph.) about the Sue Allen project. I told her that my difficulty with the thing at this point is that it is here and the version that could be shopped is over there and I know what I’m sitting with is not the version that is ready to be shopped, but I have no sense of what isn’t working, just that something is not.
And so we sat in Starbucks for three hours talking about the things she liked and the things she didn’t understand and what worked for her and what didn’t. I think the conversation was one that could be divided into thirds–1/3 of it was me being surprised by the things she pointed out (though once she pointed them out, it made sense to me that they were problems); 1/3 was me being unsurprised by things she pointed out, as I thought they were maybe problematic, maybe not; and 1/3 being surprised by the things she thought worked great, which were things I was worried didn’t work.
My biggest take-away is that the ending is still not quite right and that I’m right to suspect that William goes from being a kind of morally ambiguous badass to Shaggy and Scooby-Doo rolled into one. And that I might need to flesh John out a little more.
I had lots of smaller take-aways, too, but I won’t bore you. I’m going to write up a list of big structural things I want to not forget to take a look at and then sit tight and hear from my other beta readers.
But it was so helpful. And really gave me a sense of the shape it could take.