Happy Labor Day, Friends!
To the Spirits of the people who suffered tirelessly for a 40 hour work week, weekends, and paid holidays, I salute you tonight with Silver Patrón! To those who continue to push so that we don’t lose these hard-earned rights…I salute thee, too!
I began my Labor Day weekend with a drive to Ohio to visit Fiancé’s family. His mother threw us a wonderful engagement party, at which people I’d never met before came to share and show love. That’s the way to spend a holiday weekend, I must say!
I ended the weekend like this:
Laboring on Labor Day….
Three weeks from my new book’s deadline…Monday of Labor Day weekend doesn’t include Game of Thrones binge-watching (again)! In Courtlandia, I’m changing Labor Day to CopyEdit day.
There’s a point in the writing process when the laboring isn’t making the book better, it’s weakening it. All summer, I’ve worked to fit this BRILLIANTPERFECTEARTHSHATTERING piece of the book into the manuscript. At first, it was too long, so I shortened it. Then, it was too convoluted, so I cooked and cooked the book to clarify it like verbal ghee. Then, I figured that I could just squeeze a slice of it into Chapter Two, but it fit into the chapter just about as well as a third wheel on your pet turtle.
Sometimes in writing, work and sweat and neglected hygiene and forgotten housekeeping is all part of it. Sometimes, though, when you’re pushing and pushing to make something work, you have to push and push because it’s only through your pushing that makes it work at all. When a piece of writing works, it’s because it thrives in your manuscript long after you’ve stopped the ridiculous pushing. If you have to chase copies of your book around Barnes and Noble for the rest of your life, explaining this BRILLIANTPERFECTEARTHSHATTERING section to every person who is going to buy the book, guess what? The section’s due on the chopping block. It’s time to kill a few Darlings.
Thus…what I did. The BRILLIANTPERFECTEARTHSHATTERING piece I’ve worked so hard to place in my book just got cut-pasted to a document I’ve entitled, “Cutting room floor.”
So, that’s my personal Labor Day lesson: if I’m pushing too hard (or as my Dad says, “Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole”), it may be time to pull back and press the delete button.
It really was a BRILLIANTPERFECTEARTHSHATTERING piece. It just wasn’t right for this book.
Hey, if you’re in Portland, OR, I’ll be presenting at Columbia-Willamette Pagan Pride Day.