You're in the Matrix, Edith

by Kathryn Sterling 7 months ago in humor

Formulate...

You're in the Matrix, Edith

**I wrote the following over a span of hours between 10:00 PM on 9/5/2019 and 2:30 PM 9/6/2019, with nap breaks and snacks between.

3:00 AM: That sentence was created about five hours ago. Since then, and for a large majority of that time, it felt as if I had accomplished nothing. I have not worked on my book today, and I have not completed my goal for the evening, either.

3:30 AM: The best time for me to write is in the evenings, after my husband has fallen asleep. I wait until I hear him start to snore, and then me and the cats go into the living room for writing time.

3:35 AM: The App has now highlighted the word . The App is asking me if I want to change the word to plan. Now the App is highlighting the other two times I've written . Now three. And four. I go back to the first , to change it to the suggested plan, to see what will happen, and... nothing. But it wants to change all the other formulates to plan, so.... let's see how that will work out. By the way, now the app says I'm at a Sixth Grade Reading Level... I've now changed all the formulates to plan, thinking I'd get a pop up saying I have more than three uses of the word plan, and I might want to look up an alternative to plan in my thesaurus, but the App seems to be satisfied with the plans. Being spiteful, I change all the plans back to , even though I hate the site of all the formulates, and now agree with the App that the first was a poor decision.

But I digress...

4:30 AM: Most of the time, the words do write themselves.

4:33 AM: I want hummus.

4:35 AM: A writing App can be a tremendously powerful and helpful tool for a writer. But a matter of hours ago my App was telling me that my Readability score was an A, while my writing was at a Seventh grade Reading Level. This was unacceptable. I edited until the app told me I graduated. Most of the time, when I come in with a completed first draft, I have the opposite problem. Believe it or not, it ain't easy to reach the Eighth Grade Reading Level if you use the word ain't. Writing for a specific grade level is a meticulous and studied art.

4:50 AM: I can write nothing further until I have slept and obtained hummus.*

*At this point the author believes she slept, but upon waking, did not remember dreaming and did not feel rested. She did not get any hummus.

11:07 AM: Why did I start writing the first draft within the App? Because of that, and because my mind was unfocused, and because the app was doing what a company created it to do... My fingers were typing, but my eyes were watching the statistics. And that was my learning lesson for today.

12:05 PM: I enjoy John's company too much to write when he is awake...but sometimes, like anybody's husband, wife, life-partner, or friend... he drives me so crazy that I purposely set out to write a character in his voice, and then kill them off. That is how I deal with conflict.

12:12 PM: FYI, if you are a friend of mine, and some years from now you are reading a book that I've written, and you start to notice a character that seems to feel awfully like yourself, and then they die... you probably gave me the side eye one day. But if you keep reading, you will find yourself reincarnated in some other form, and your character is still alive to this day.

12:14 PM: Back to John... 99.99% of the time, John is one of my real life muses. I find myself at a loss if I don't sit beside him and listen, because I might miss some good material. He is the talker in the family, and I am the listener.

1:30 PM: In the two sides of this battle, and I am the soldier on both sides. Today, do I write the book or do I write about writing the book, so people will read the book? I can't do both at the same time, can I? But I have to. I must schedule time for both and stick to a schedule.

1:41 PM: To reward anyone who has made it to the end of this entry... I present you with the first paragraph of the first chapter of Edith, Awake.

***

Edith, Awake (Written by Kathryn Sterling)

Chapter One

Edith

When I was much younger, and all my boyfriends were characters in books, one of my favorite fictional crushes was the man at the heart of a book by Charlotte Bronte. Edward Rochester loved young Jane, but he couldn’t marry her because his deranged fire-setting first wife, Bertha Mason, was still alive and well and locked up in the attic. Like all the Jane Eyre fans who came before me, I wanted Bertha to hurry up and die, so he could marry Jane. But on the day I walked out of the State Hospital, I knew that all Bertha needed was a cocktail of anti-psychotics and anti-depressives, therapy, and love, and that Jane Eyre was a homewrecker. I walked out of the hospital to my own flawlessly imperfect version of Edward Rochester. His name was actually Edward, but he preferred the nickname of Eddie, and in this story, I was not Jane Eyre. I was Bertha Mason... and Eddie was here to take me home. With this new-found knowledge, I walked out of that hospital, and back into the cold, sometimes harsh, world that we call life, firmly holding onto Eddie's hand.

***

2:03 PM: Due to the uses of words such as , and , this entry has a Readability Score of A, a Positive Sentiment, but a 6th Grade Reading Level. The Author is confident that if she removed all references to the Writer's Application, and the words and , her Grade Reading Level would graduate to High School, but her sentiment would somehow be reflected as Negative. The Author agrees with the Application that the multiples and formulates are excessive and repetitive, but the Author refuses to be a pawn in the Matrix.

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Kathryn Sterling
Kathryn Sterling
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