Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How a backyard project is like editing a novel

You always end up doing and spending more than you thought you would.

You gasp in shock when you see those ginormous, ugly sentences that grew like weeds in your manuscript. You down a caraffe of coffee or sangria, then mercilessly rip them out, savoring your new-found power.

You find fresh, brilliant ways to clean your tome and yard, and search for meaningingful angles to unique paths that will maintain the integrity of your intention. Okay, that's a load of cow chips. Let's just say you plow ahead like Scarlett O'Hara, vowing to nevuh, evuh go hungry again. Then you trip on a rock and crack your head open. You have five epiphanies in a row (que up any Jonas Brothers song), go forth, and remove the rot. 


You scour the universe for the perfect words and trees for your novel and backyard. You refuse to give up until you've found them. Wait. Stop. You only want natives, not Swahilian pines. Don't want to confuse agents, editors and readers, do you?

Writer/gardner nirvana, baby! Choices! You're a choices-whore, too? Yay! But don't use too many $10 words when the dollar-ones will do. (Dollar-ones, get it? =p) You reread Strunk & White and return to the nursery with your buckarooski, aka, Golden Ticket.
Que Enya. Now you see unicorns. You see little green men with loads of story-telling potential. Precisely what you've been looking for. Remember, there's nothing wrong with funk and creativity. Don't religiously follow the rules lest your novel sound like the back of a Wheaties box. (Apologies to all WB Writers. I've been there, yearning to bash my clients' heads in. I know the blood, sweat, and shots that go into making a decent ad campaign with legs and steroid-chomping athletes.)
 When stumped and overwhelmed by feelings of stupidity, ask the cat. She is SAGE. She knows all. I'm not kidding. TBC...


Becky Willis Motew said...

Aw, what a cute kitty.

If you really cared, you'd buy her a big vulgar diamond.

The project looks massive. Thanks on behalf of all Americans.

Marina said...

She's a brilliant Vulgressa Junior. I thank you for your comments, Becky-poo. I try. I try to help wherever I can. ==)Her's will be this big O. That's bigger than mine.

J.R. Mackenzie said...

I ask the cat all the time. He's really the brains of the outfit.
Project? Looks like a massive alteration of the landscape to me! Whew!
Did I see hemlocks? Yay! I can testify to the fact that they live to a ripe old age (our home is tucked within some really stately guys!)
Fun comparison and oh, so true!!


Pam Torres said...

No cats here, allergies I'm afraid. Beautiful yard and what crazy huge project! Great comparisons to writing. Glad to find you!