Monthly Archives: March 2004

An Exercise in Frustration, Starring the Bank

As I’m a consultant for an American publisher, I naturally get paid in cheques drawn on an American bank. I must present these in person in order to deposit them. Today I went to my local branch to deposit the hefty cheque retaining my services as imprint specialist for one year.

I was told they had to hold the cheque for twenty-five business days.

That’s five weeks.

When I dared to ask why, and told them I’d had no problem depositing the last cheque from this particular company four months ago, I was informed that perhaps my branch would let the cheque through, since they knew me personally, but this branch could not help me.

So off to the West Island I travelled, and learned that the cheque has to be frozen for five weeks for three reasons:

(1) The bank currently has no employment record for me on file.
(2) It’s a US cheque.
(3) My current financial profile flags a transaction like this as dangerous.

Of course the bank has no employment record on file — I’ve been freelancing for the past two years. The teller was much more helpful than the last one; she helped me make an appointment for a financial review to upgrade my bank privileges, processed the cheque, froze the majority of it but left five hundred dollars clear so I’d at least have some money available, and explained that the successful deposit of the last US cheque was a fluke that should have flagged the system as well.

I’m a bit grumbly, as it’s taken six weeks for this cheque to get to me from the moment it was printed, and now it will take another five weeks before I can actually officially have the money. I understand that the bank has safety precautions, but still, it grates that I pay them for inconveniences like this. Sometimes I really think that keeping my money in an old sock where I can get my hands on it when I need it, and no one can charge me for the privilege of using my fortune for their own investment, is the solution.

Creativity Insurance

Today was the weekly writing jam in which I participate, where three of us get into the same room and hunch over our laptops, typing madly. It’s creativity insurance: for at least one afternoon each week, we get some writing done, because if the sound of your fingers hitting the keys ceases, someone bullies you into starting again. (“No retreat, no revision, no regret!” Ceri announced during a writing lull this afternoon. “No words,” t! replied succinctly. This is funny on several levels, for t! is the original author of the writer’s threefold war cry Ceri quoted. If you know t! in any way, you also know the idea of having no words is a paradox in his world.) Last week Ceri worked on developing content for her web site, and this week I decided that since I’d been uploading a ton of stuff to Owldaughter, I’d take her work as inspiration and use the afternoon to work on some sort of introduction for the spirituality section. I pulled off fifteen hundred words this afternoon, which wasn’t bad at all. Then tonight, after my husband went to bed, I pulled off another seventeen hundred. That brings my total to just over 3,200 words for the day.

Awesome.

I also got another couple of chapters of that manuscript edited. Tomorrow morning I’ll draw up the editorial memo, run it past my contact at the publisher, then send it and the first third of the book off to the author.

Making progress, yes, indeed…

God As A Fellow Artist

Surrealmuse takes a look at art in several different ways. Her subtitle was what really caught my attention: When the muse is alive in anyone, they become an inventive, searching, self-expressing creature.

I found this paragraph in Art & Spirituality:

I envision God as another fellow artist, the master artist with a touch of scientific knowledge, but an artist all the same. Who else but an artist would create such beautiful scenic beaches and mountains? With the same token, the dark side of God’s artistic vision is illustrated in the creation of angry, fiery volcanoes. But God also has a sense of humor, who else could create a platypus?

I thought that might get your attention. Enjoy the site, and think about how your own creativity conveys your spirituality.

Division Of Labour

I just got a call from my publisher. My bid to rewrite the current book for which I’m consultant has been accepted — sort of. They’re splitting the book up: the regular copyeditor answers all the obvious (and justifiably snarky) queries she put in for the author to clean up, and I get The Ultimate Chapter From Hell to change, alter, rewrite, and otherwise make professional and appropriate.

It’s not the answer I was hoping for, but I’ll take it. This abnormally long chapter constitutes a third of the book, after all. Dividing the rewrite gets things done twice as fast, and this book is already late; it ought to have been in production by now.

Grr

Any time Philip Heselton’s Wiccan Roots wants to stop quoting and re-hashing Jack Bracelin’s 1960 bio of Gerald Gardner, it can go right ahead. I’d rather read something original than a secondary text. Heselton acknowledges in his foreword that Bracelin’s book is a key text and that he quotes frequently, but really, the first two chapters do nothing to advance the scholarship of the field. So far the analysis is weak and pointless, and it’s just a string of quotes from other books.

This book is supposed to be ground-breaking. I keep waiting for the ground-breaking part. I may only have finished two chapters, but readers are gained are lost through a first chapter alone.