Wednesday, 4 April 2012

#AtoZChallenge - BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! - D is for di Gesu (Michael)

As it's the first Wednesday of the month, it's time to post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Just a short one today before we move onto Michael di Gesu.

Today my post is Discretion When Editing.

I'm sharing some of the struggles our golden oldies had:

OSCAR WILDE would spend an entire morning putting a comma into one of his poems, then spend the afternoon removing it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms 39 times before he was satisfied. When asked what the hold up was, he said: 'Getting the words right.'

VLADIMIR NABOKOV said his pencils outlived his erasers.

TRUMAN CAPOTE believed in the scissors more than the pencil.

So where does discretion come in? Writers in the past lived in a different era, a less hurried era, and they had the luxury of time to 'get it right'.

TRUMAN CAPOTE would stretch out on his couch, cigarette in one hand and a sherry in the other. His friends became consultants in the publishing process. He would read extracts aloud to his friends. 'I've got to be puffing and sipping.' Ah, those were the days...

But today, deadlines must be met. We might revise in a state of agitation or ecstasy. We can feel dumped, dejected, depressed, despondent...enough Ds?

So discretion might mean knowing when to stop editing. Can we afford a whole day moving a comma?

So now I move onto my regular A - Z posts... 


Yesterday we had Cathy Olliffe-Webster.


D is for di Gesu (Michael) @ time

Michael explains - since I couldn't get to my earlier pics, I thought I would send you something that meant so much to me as a kid. The first time I went to Disney World in Florida. One particular attraction left me speechless and even though it has been there for over forty years, it still packs a punch. I had revisited there last year, and took some amazing pics of it. 
The ride/attraction is called "It's a small world." AND since we have friends from around the globe, I find this extremely appropriate for the occasion.

I was born in NYC, NY. USA

I grew up in the suburbs only twelve miles from midtown Manhattan. I lived in the smallest house amongst the mansions... My parents worked non-stop to be able to afford the neighborhood and my brothers' and my private school.

It was an amazing yet frustrating experience. As you could imagine growing up with kids who had everything was hard when my parents could only afford the basics. I began working at eleven with a paper route and baby sat for income until I was discovered by a photographer to model... That's when my life changed ...

My favorite home is a toss up between two places, so completely different. My lakefront condo that was located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the current condo I live in now, a chic condo located across from Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL. The two residences are very different from each other, both beautiful in their own ways ... one beach and nature oriented and one urban. Both an exciting place to live.

My best childhood memory was in the summer at the New Jersey shore when I was three. We were at the arcade and my dad won a game and he let me pick the prize ... Not either of my brothers. I was so thrilled and excited. It was the first time ever. I picked a two-foot stuffed mouse. I will never forget it. I loved stuffed animals as a little boy and I had that mouse for years.

My worst childhood memory was when my black lab got sick and died ... he was my best friend.

Michael's living/work room, where he's penning those bestsellers!

I currently live in a vintage 1920's condo, located in Chicago,IL. The classic nine-foot plaster-molded ceilings and hardwood floors speak to the designer in me. The moment I walked through the marble entry with crystal chandeliers and plastered dome with etched Greek figures, I knew I was home.

Latte in Quebec City
More about Michael: After fifteen years of modeling in New York, I spent the past eight years as an interior designer in Chicago. I decided to take my creative talents and write/illustrate my first m/g novel, Amber and the Whispering Willows. A year later, I wrote The Blinded Gardener, an edgy y/a contemporary. I've been editing for the past six months and I am in the process of querying. I never knew how wonderful it could be to write novels ... I'm addicted. 

Visit Michael's blog, time here...

Fascinating to learn more about Michael today. Visit tomorrow to find out about Sarah Pearson and maybe find out how those Empty Pages are going.


Charmaine Clancy said...

Deadlines can be helpful - like joining a writing group so you need to get something written to bring along ;)

Great interview!

Wagging Tales

Kyra Lennon said...

"OSCAR WILDE would spend an entire morning putting a comma into one of his poems, then spend the afternoon removing it." - that sounds so much like me, I laughed out loud!

Unknown said...

Hi nice to meet you, enjoyed reading you post. Visiting via Insecure Writer's Support Group, but am also enjoying A-Z Challenge.


baygirl32 said...

I LOVE the theme you picked for the challenge!

Hemingway rewrite the ending 99 times - wow

Happy A to Z!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Disney World Rocks!
It's great to get to know Michael a little better.
That was an awesome prize to pick too ;)

Anonymous said...

Michael is incredibly talented! I now know him a little better than I did, thanks to you, Sis. I love his childhood memories, both the good and the bad. The way he captured the "small world" is brilliant, fantastical. Absolutely amazing!

As for discretion -- in our fast-paced world we don't have the luxury of "the comma." But I'm working on slowing the pace in my life and focusing on the essentials, which is what we have to do in our writing, too. This is an incredibly excellent post, Denise.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Deniz Bevan said...

Aww, no I forgot to post for the insecure writers :-(

Lovely to meet you Michael - I know exactly what that's like; we lived in a posh neighbourhood and my parents sent me to private school too. It was hard not being able to afford all the extras, like class trips to Europe, and trying to explain to my friends why I couldn't go. But you learn a lot!

Love that shot of your work room - it looks so serene and comfortable. I'd love to live in a 1920s home, channelling Evelyn Waugh and PG Wodehouse and...

Anonymous said...

I've heard that about Oscar Wilde before and it always makes me laugh whenever I read it again. Can you imagine how much more prolific he would have been if he had a wordprocessor or a blog?!

Great post, glad to know you today :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Denise you wrote for both... I incorporated mine together.

Fascinating facts about such noted authors.

I know I couldn't spend a WHOLE day on a comma.. These days I barely have time to breath.

Thanks for featuring me today Denise.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Great to learn more about you, Michael! Deadlines are the poop in the lawn of my life! So many and so rushed! Lovely post, Denise!

Unknown said...

Very interesting about the writers who were so careful about what they wrote. Love that you could spend a day on one comma.

I've been reading Micheal's blog for a long time but it's nice to know more about him.

Anonymous said...

"OSCAR WILDE would spend an entire morning putting a comma into one of his poems, then spend the afternoon removing it.

That I can identify with.

Dawn Embers said...

First, ISGW - That is an interesting topic. I see all the authors talking about rushing editing nowadays, it is different. It's also like the difference between those that haven't had something accepted yet. While we all daydream about the day, we also have the luxury to take as long as we want to write the book and edit. Getting what we want could very well end up having to rush both the writing and editing.

A-Z - *waves hi to the interviewed author* Ah the life changing moments. Amazing how things change over the years and the memories we maintain from the past.

ashok said...

wonderful blog...enjoyed reading your posts!

Zan Marie said...

An condo it two places? Wow, Michael!

Denise, dealines are necessary sometimes. My hubby even set some for me when I was working on my masters thesis. That open ended 6 years was a bit too open. ; )

Nate Wilson said...

Great, theme Denise! What a fun idea to get to know our fellow bloggers not as they are but as, they used to be.

Damn it. Those commas aren't in the right place. Now I feel like Oscar Wilde at lunchtime.

Georgina Morales said...

I think we should do more like the oldies and be less driven by deadlines. I write because it pleases me, it makes me happy. So I will shoot for perfection, whatever the cost in time. However, perfection is dictated by one's heart. When will I achieve it? I don't know, it might take less for you, it doesn't matter. As long as we as creators are happy with our babies the world will be a happy place.

Nice post!
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Laura said...

Great to learn more about Michael, he's such a great friend. And I want his livingroom!!!

Ian Anderson said...

Yeah, editing can be painstaking. It's good to learn to live with what you've written, but it takes such effort sometimes.

Golden Eagle said...

It's hard to know when a project is as good as it's going to get and when further editing will only make it worse. It reminds me of something my dance teacher once said--if you overpractice, things that went fine before will start to go wrong.

Michael is an awesome blogger! :)

The Poet said...

Hello Denise & Michael.
Micheal, I love your living room. Perfect place for poetic inspiration. Awesome feature & post Denise. Thanks so much for sharing.

Day 4: Dialogue Of Romance

Adura Ojo said...

I struggle with those commas too and do exactly the same thing Oscar Wilde does. Nice to know I'm in good company! Lovely work on your theme, Denise. You're doing great!

It's just as well you didn't get the email. I'll spend some time this weekend beefing up what I sent you originally as it probably wasn't enough anyway.

Kittie Howard said...

It was great getting to know you better, Michael. It's nice to know someone who's at The Dance. It takes a lot of hard work to get there and stay there. Big applause for your parents for laying the foundation.

The more convenient life is supposed to get, the more complicated it gets. I rather envy the slow pace the Greats lived.

Great post, Denise!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Oh my goodness, that room in Michael's apartment is just fantastic. Can't you just tell he's an interior designer? :-)

And I love the story of the stuffed mouse :-)

SweetMarie83 said...

"...discretion might mean knowing when to stop editing" - so true! I have a lot of trouble with that. There's a fine line and it's definitely a learning process.

Great to learn about Michael also! Love the pics.

Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Learned a little bit more about our mystery traveling man!
And I don't like deadlines...

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, what a wonderful theme for the A-Z! I've just gone through your posts and loved them all, such a fantastic idea. I'm looking forward to learning more about other bloggers as you go through the alphabet, how fun.

Jemi Fraser said...

That was fun! One of these days I'd like to visit Disney :)

Jaye Robin Brown said...

The best and worst memories both about animals (real and probably perceived real) - my kind of kid.

Anonymous said...

We have annual passes at Disneyland and love Its a Small World. Disney recently shut down and updated the ride. Never get tired of it.

And love the Hemmingway quote.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise and Michael .. love the quotes at the beginning .. and to read how the greats worked at times ..

Great reading more about Michael .. sounds an interesting life and one you've made the most of .. boarding school is not the easiest if you don't have it all - I agree there. Also we then have to learn street life .. another story ..

Love the big fluffy soft toys .. Happy Easter to one and all - cheers Hilary said...

Loved learning more of your story Michael and seeing the pics of your home and of you now. Good luck with the writing.

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