It didn’t take very long. Ten days into the New Year and there it is! *sniff, sniff* Yep, that’s the stench of doubt emanating from my computer.
I thought it was the rotting Christmas tree I had the husband haul out last week, but the smell just lingered and then grew! It wasn’t until the 7 year old mini-me asked to play a computer game on my office computer that I realized the source of that awful odor. My WIP progress was on the screen with the flashing little line begging me to start writing again. I told told the 7yo that he had to go play on daddy’s computer; mommy had some unfinished business to handle. A very cautious 7yo crept backwards out the door, never taking his eyes off my fingers –they’ve been outlawed as deadly weapons in three states– and then scrambled down the stairs when he hit the office threshold.
For the next couple of hours me and that blinking little light did battle. I chased the line all over the screen. Words upon words flew from my fingers. REMEMBER: outlawed in 3 states 🙂 When the sun went down, one brave mini-me tip toed up to the divide, keeping his toes on the sane mommy side of the door, he courageously asked when dinner was going to be ready. I leaned back in my Walmart task chair and triumphantly put my hands behind my head and said, “Baby, right now!”
Crazy writing mommy, reentered sane mommy’s body and went down stairs to cook dinner.
MISTAKE #1: Do not leave that stupid little cursor with your Work In Progress.
Three hours later with all the mini-me’s tucked in their bed dreaming dreams of a cookie baking, fort building mega mommy. I went back into my office and looked at my WIP. (At this point please refer back to MISTAKE #1).
I re read through the words cursor and I had created and then…well, I’m not proud, but I cursed at that stupid little cursor for going back and editing with out me. Ok, I know it didn’t, but I needed someone to blame and it just couldn’t be me.
Slumped in my Walmart task chair I scrolled thru page after page of *insert your favorite expletive* and wondered what the heck had happened?????
MISTAKE #2: Never edit on a stomach full of doubt and wine.
I cut 90% of the words. After staring at the cursor for a few more moments before banging my head on the keyboard, certain that the words would translate better from my forehead than they were from my fingers….I clicked SAVE and slouched off to bed, stopping by the bathroom for tums. You choose why: words or wine, it didn’t matter.
I tossed and turned all night. You know that scene from Disney’s Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice where the possessed brooms are spilling buckets and buckets of water around Sorcerer Mickey. My dreams were kind of like that, only possessed cursors spilled buckets of buckets of putrefied prose on me and my Mickey Eared hat.
In the morning, before my husband and all the mini-me’s woke up, I tiptoed back into my office and pulled up my WIP. The cursor and I had a bit of stare down. I won’t admit who but one of us cried for mercy. That’s when I saw it…
RESOLUTION: Never cut your words with out saving them to an outtake document.
Really, how bad could they have been. I opened the document titled: Work In Progress Crap and read through the pages and pages of cut words. Cocking my head in a triumphant 45 degree angle, I copied 85% of the words from the WIP Crap doc and reintroduced them to the WIP.
The youngest mini-me climbed into my lap and said, “Pretty mommy.”
“I know, baby.” I squeezed him tightly and clicked save. “Those words are very pretty.”