Monday, March 29, 2010

Boring the Funny out of Me...

This week at Church, we had a big conference. I sat next to a group of deaf members near the front, facing an interpreter. Since the speaker was literally boring the funny out of me, I decided to turn my attention to the interpreter instead. She was of course signing, but she was also mouthing the words to the deaf group so I could follow along too. The small group was absolutely enthralled with the talk while the rest of us were plotting the speaker's bloody demise just to get him to stop talking.
The difference?
The interpreter was paraphrasing and simplifying the speaker's overly wordy run-on blatherings into succinct little bullet points of goodness. She was rewriting. She was the second draft to his epic failure of a first draft. She was distilling his bird-walking, wandering stories down to 'just the facts, ma'am'.
At the end, the deaf members walked up to shake the speaker's hand while the rest of us skirted out the back trying to avoid eye contact, running for freedom.
For me, this was a good lesson in brevity (which I am well aware, this story does not have) and the importance of rewriting and revisiting. So no, I have not mustered up the courage to start querying again, but I am mustering up the courage to revisit my work, to strengthen it and get it in the best shape it can be for that one final yes to come through.
And just in case you were wondering, next time we have the same guy come and speak to us at church, I'm bringing earplugs and sitting with the deaf members again.


  1. I guess we really do learn best from experience. It's a good point to remember in our writing.

  2. I like your insights. Funny and helpful at the same time.