In this free world baby
Got to take it got to grab it
Got to get it up and shag it*
In this free world -- "Free World," Kirsty MacColl
So, needless to say, I've had a really crappy week. But in some ways an uplifting one, an educational one, a perspective-putting one. I think it's really easy to let things happen to you, to watch life pass you by and never really question why you're doing things or what you want or are capable of.
It has also been proofreading hell week. Well, weeks, cause I am very slow. The thing I like least about editing books, aside from sending out rejection letters, is proofreading. It's like just hen you think you're done, you're stuck reading seemingly endless pages and by the end you never want to see your book again. Or at least, read it. I like to look at the shiny, pretty box of books, but I don't sit there and reread it to see what typos got left in. And as I learned with Dirty Girls, it doesn't really matter because in all likelihood they won't be fixed, so I can keep saying hello to the typos that do blare out at me, even in the 2nd edition, so I just don't think about it. I also proofread my books before I turn them in to the publisher, so doing it again is just a major pain in the ass. Yes, I know, a necessary one. I worry when I skimp on it that my books will be typo-ridden, but I also find it such a massive relief to be done with that. I have a battle plan for next time, though, but right now, I cannot think about that. It's all about the here and now.
These days I'm just not sure I'm up for it, not sure if it's worth it to be forever lugging around massive amounts of paper what feels like all the time. I'm sure there's another way to go about things, but I'm slow to change, I do things the way I do them and it's really hard to break out of those ruts. I bought this Betsey Johnson bag I'm probably returning, but I got it with the idea that I could magically morph into a one bag lady, rather than a three bag lady. But between a laptop, 200+ pages, books, and whatever else, it's a bit of a challenge. If I worked from home, it would be totally different, but then, so would a lot of things.
I did read one thing in Jean MacColl's Sun on the Water that just has been bouncing around in my mind, not letting go of its grip on me, I think because it's just so awful, you wonder how these people have moved on, and yet they have. Stop reading now if you are squeamish. I am, too, and I knew Kirsty MacColl was killed by a powerboat at age 41 in Mexico (click the link to find out about the campaign for justice surrounding her death). I did not know her kids were in the water with her and wound up swimming in her blood. That image, and the son telling his grandmother about it, is just so horrific.
Kirsty was so beautiful, and brilliant. Like her collaborator Billy Bragg, she made these songs with a real social conscience, but also these truly powerful ones about relationships and love and emotion. It's helping remind me what I once wanted to do with my life, and the massive gap between that and what I have done, well, it's a good reminder.
This one's not a video, just one of my favorite songs of hers, "Autumngirlsoup," that I found on YouTube: