Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SOL Tuesday: Grief Insight

Last weekend I had several insights, but this is the most interesting so far.
            I’ve noticed how I’ve wanted to have the radio and often the TV as well on whenever I am in the apartment. I was not always like this. At first I thought it was just to replace Jack’s voice, which wasn’t constant, of course, but was available.
            The other day, with both the radio and a fan on, the fan almost drowning out the radio, I remembered as though connected by an umbilical cord to the fall of 1961. I  was 19, on a job with my college in Los Angeles, as far as I’d been away from anything or anyone I knew in my life. I had just moved into a rooming house, brought groceries home after my job, and I had no radio. I had never been so alone. The silence of the room terrified me, and I cried for maybe half an hour. I ended up going home,  a decision I always regretted.
            After that, I never lived alone again, except for a couple of weeks between a roommate and moving into a commune. And then I got married.
            My 74-year-old self is still connected to that 19-year-old self afraid of the silence. I’m trying to get used to silence now. Listen to music or talk, or baseball, if there’s something to listen to, but not just to fill up the silence.

There are more Slices of Life over at Two Writing Teachers. Check them out, and join in!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SOLTuesday: Why I Love Copyediting

I’m still free-lance copyediting on occasion. The magazine I was working for today gave me a collection of fiction reviews to copyedit. And sure enough, there was a historical novel whose reviewer was a bit hazy on historical fact.

            The reviewer says the novel is set in “Nazi and Fascist-occupied Venice, Italy, in 1945, just weeks before Italy’s surrender to the Allies.” Well, Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943, so is this novel set in 1943 or 1945? After the Fascist Italian government surrendered, Nazi Germany invaded, and there might well have also been Italian Fascists in Nazi-occupied Venice, but I don't think one could say the Fascists were "occupying" an Italian city. And if it’s set in I945, then it’s just weeks before Germany’s surrender.

            A little fact-checking shows the book is set in 1945, so I know how to correct the review. And I feel like I have earned my pay for the day.