Monday, November 07, 2011

Right Here, Right Now

At this exact moment, I should be doing the final rewrites of the book, using the smart and considered notes I've gotten from people far more intelligent and literate than I am.

So, I'm here.

I'm here because, frankly, here is better than there. There, with the manuscript, is staring at things I've written, and rewritten, and mulled over, and polished, and rewritten, and gotten notes on, and rewritten and am now confronted with a terrible question:

WHY AREN'T YOU BETTER?

There isn't a sightly place to be right now. And no amount of purloining Daughter's Halloween candy is going to make there any better-looking; it's certainly not doing my upper-thighs any favors. Final rewrites are like doing your own obituary while also performing your own autopsy.

But, here! Here is good! I'll just stay here and write blogs forever! Who cares that I do it for free? Writing books isn't much better!

Perhaps I should get to the point.

This week, I was shuffling through a fashion magazine, because it's my drug of choice,
and I came across a diet. We know it's a good diet, a successful diet, because Gwyneth Paltrow is on it. It clears up inflammation, something you've probably never considered in a dietary way but let me assure you, INFLAMMATION IS WHY YOU AREN'T BETTER. Inflammation gives you a belly. Inflammation makes your skin dull. Inflammation is why you can't remember the name of your cousin's new daughter:

Acacia?

Amaryllis?

Ambergris?

Inflammation is at the root of all that ails you and with this magic diet, you will be BETTER. Your skin will be clear and bright, your mind will remember the girl's name is Hawthorne and most important of all, you will be thinner. Magically thinnner.

Ready to be thinner and smarter?

Here goes.

For one month, you will take scads of expensive probiotics. Your diet will consist of fresh, organic greens, brightly-colored fruit and non-commerically farmed meat. Financially, it's best if you are the wife of someone in the band Coldplay. You will not ingest dairy, sugar, caffeine, starches and alcohol. You will do this for a month. After a month, thanks to this newfound lack of inflammation, you will magically find you've lost weight!

Or-and it might just be the candy-corn and green-tea I'm living on right now talking here- if you cut out all starches and sugars, you lose weight. You may call it the anti-inflammation diet, or the Zone diet, or the diabetes-control diet, but if you eat no starch and sugar your inflammation (read; your belly rounded by starches and sugars) will go down. In the article, a doctor is quoted as saying he's seen patients lose up to ten pounds in a month, which is about two and a half pounds a week, which is about what you'd lose if you cut out starches and sugars. It's a good diet, it just doesn't need the accessories. Then again, without the accessories, it doesn't get into the Beyonce issue, does it?

Here's what I say. Cut out sugar, cut out starch. Everything will fit better. If you feel fancy, stop drinking; it's easier to remember unusual baby-names without a Syrah-haze. Save the four hundred dollars or so you're supposed to spend on probiotics and buy yourself something.

(Might I suggest putting a few dollars aside to pick up my book next year?)

I'm might never do this diet, but I can say honestly it's already made my life better. The next time I'm assaulted by my inner editor screaming WHY AREN'T YOU BETTER, I'll blithely say, "Can't help it, I'm inflamed."

And then I'll put on some Coldplay. And go back over here.

12 Comments:

Blogger Karen Edmisten said...

When I finished writing my first book, and I was convinced that the whole thing had devolved into utter garbage, I said to my editor, "Are all writers this certain that their work is this awful?"

"The good ones usually are," she said.

I still love her madly.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Banker Chick said...

I never diet, I just "Eat Better" and manage to fall off the wagon this time of year.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

No sugar? No starches? Sounds terrible.

12:35 PM  
Blogger StevenIre said...

This was Icarus’ problem with his wings of wax and his feet of clay. Although, after his wings melted after flying too close to the sun his clay feet would have absorbed the energy of impact through deformation, been reconstituted and suffered no lasting damage. Oh wait, he drowned so strike that. I will rewrite this comment (below) and find some hope; also I have to work in the sugar and starch angle.

On Writer’s Block by Victoria Nelson is a well written and insightful—especially the chapter on the puer aeternus which hit a little too close to home—book. After reading it I was not able to write for about six months, so I don’t recommend it. She may have been an agent provocateur or it could have been a simple case of the law of unintended consequences. The same goes for sugar and starch who have conspired to make me short, heavy, and have to wear glasses.

Ok, the paragraph is rewritten but it is totally different. Rewriting is a nightmare.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I am in the process of genetically engineering myself to function on wine and doritoes.

I'll let you know how it goes.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

I'd write something witty, but I'm too inflamed. Roasted potatoes as a side dish for dinner and I'm downright incapacitated. With any luck, my few remaining functioning brain cells will assist me in rummaging around for a piece of chocolate for dessert.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Robin Raven said...

Great article. Having done everything from Jenny Craig to Nutrisystem to any other program that has a vegetarian option, can I say thank you? They're all gimmicks, and they all work the same as cutting calories, starches, sugar...the good things in life, as I like to call them. :)

Although rewrites stink, I am excited for your new book. I hope the rewrites progress painlessly.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Quinn, I am hopeful your latest book will be published soon...I just read your first one and LOVED it...I can't wait to pass it to a friend. Good luck with your progress!

On another note...thank you for your humorous words of common sense and wisdom....makes losing weight sound easy (or at least very simple) when you put it like that!

I am blaming my heritage for my carb obsession...what Irishwoman does not eat her weight in baked potatoes each year?!

Cheers :)

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind on my reading material, so I just read your blog in Good Housekeeping about what you consider to be a lowly "library clerk", not even a librarian. The attitude you took over the whole thing is very enlightening as to your attitude and your character. I did read the whole blog, not just what was in the magazine and it's not really all that different, for all your complaining that they cut out a lot-it's basically about the same. My impression was that you're on a power trip-not the person who is trying to enforce the rules at the library. Is it really that big a deal to just carry your own card? I always carried mine and my little girl's-big deal. I used to be a "lowly retail clerk" while in college and believe me, I ran across a lot of women like you. Most men didn't pick silly power struggle battles like you apparently did with the library clerk, who you are quick to label "not even a librarian", as if she's below consideration. Apparently you have some real problems in your life to pick fights like this and them demean somebody for simply doing their job and enforcing the rules where they work. The little "Cluck you" at the end speaks volumes for your attitude and lack of character!

1:24 PM  
Anonymous ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

I'd feel for you, but I've been putting off writing a new book for years.

I suck at editing my own stuff. I already know what I wrote and don't always actually see the words, etc., as I've written them.

It's a curse.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

Dear Anonymous 1:24 PM: And your comment is relative to this post - how? Even Marion the Librarian is OVER it. You seem to be harboring some residual resentment over your days as a "lowly retail clerk," and I'm sorry you were treated badly, but why "pay it forward"? We've all done things we later regretted and the world would be a better place if we all just cut each other a little slack.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Ellen Potter said...

Just discovered your blog and am loving it. Okay, I'm going to eat one last Twizzler, them I'm off to find some probiotics and a guy from Coldplay.

5:29 PM  

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