Decomposing the Vote

Why do they call it a dead heat? Because the originator of the phrase was from the South, and she knew what heat can do to you? Or do the dead actually emit heat when decomposing? At this point you’re probably asking yourself, why would her mind go there, and why on earth is she sharing it with us? (BTW: don’t research this question—you will become privy to FAR more information than you want to know.)

Anyway, the vote on which novel to revise next was not quite a dead heat but very close, the results being:
Bone Trench 10
Model for Deception 12
In the Name of Mississippi 13

Also ran was Jazzy at 7 and last (and quite least) poor ol’ 1011 St. Lawrence Street which limped across the finish line at 2.5, the .5 being a mention I counted because I felt sorry for its last place status (I am a sucker for the unloved).

I found the vote very interesting primarily because it taught me that you can’t predict folks’ reading preferences based on what you think you know about them. This shouldn’t surprise me. Would anyone guess my favorite novels are by foreign authors? Other than left-over French, I don’t speak a foreign language. I have no connection to any culture other than my own, whatever it might be. But I’m telling you, look at my bookshelf: the books I’ve chosen to keep—the clearest indication that they are my favorites—are dominated by writers from Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, etc; and I’m not counting novels written by Americans whose first language is English but who write of life in Cuba, Haiti, etc.

So what next? “Next” already is. While y’all were voting, I was working and this morning I finished revising The Bone Trench—yippee! Now I must move on to Model for Deception or In the Name of Mississippi, the two who are in the semi-dead (comatose?) heat. I’ll pick one of them—coin toss, anyone?—and I’ll get started, the goal being to work through them all, even maybe poor ol’ 1011 St. Lawrence Street. It’s a little daunting, no doubt about it. But I shan’t look at it as work. I’ll view it as a surfeit of choice.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

foreign writers, novel vote, revising your novel

Comments (5)

  • I read a short story when I was a kid that has stuck with me through thick and thin. It reminds me of “dead heat.” It’s about a man who is on death row because it was so hot he committed murder.

  • Ellen Morris Prewitt

    See—I knew it could be because the heat drives you crazy! (and you were the 1/2 vote for 1011 St. Lawrence!)

  • Ellen Morris Prewitt

    So little time, so much to revise—what to do when I cannot decide? Hence the vote, which in many ways punted the decision back to me. I may use the “Dave Ramsey” approach (which is to pay your smaller debts first) and finish Model for Deception, following my (probably benighted) belief it is closer to being done.

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