Sunday, May 16, 2010

When All Else Fails . . . Clean the Refrigerator

I treasure times when the words drop onto the "page" like a perfect string of pearls, one after the other. I have those days, er, moments.  I also have days when, well, this time of year I call them "Refrigerator Days," (In the early spring I call these days, "Seed Planting" days.) days when nothing pops into my brain that I want anyone to read . . . not ever . . . even me.

When the GREAT CLOG happens, as it did a few days ago and my YA started spitting my words back at me, I posted that I'd jumped to an old middle grade ghost story with a fantastic notion that I could resurrect it if I made it a YA. So for the past few days that's what I've been hammering away at with some success and with only two or three "Refrigerator Days." I have a bit of work to do on this puppy, but I'm kind of liking it because
1)I know the background story very well.
2) I've learned to grapple with "age progression on my characters
3) The plot is holding together and I don't have to think about each step that should lead to "THE END."
Rewriting really does have its rewards.

Sometimes as I sit at the keyboard waiting for it to behave more like an old-fashioned player piano and knowing it won't crank out any tune on its own, I often visit other blogs for inspiration. Last week was no exception. Fortunately, I found some. WriterJenn had a conversation with her muse that's very similar to one I've had about being creative. Wonder if that muse is moonlighting?

  April Henry came through with some excellent advice for writers who haven't published yet, so I thought I'd link to that in case there are any of you out there struggling like me with those pesky words and wondering if it's worth the effort since you just received that Xth rejection letter. April says it is worthwhile and the only thing you can do wrong is fail to believe in yourself. I'll second her message.

Oh, and about cleaning out the refrigerator: Sometimes those gooey things in plastic containers turn out to be works of art if handled correctly. Here's what happened when I threw out some almost recognizable onions.

Hmmm. I feel another metaphor coming on. Maybe some of that "gooey" prose could be "handled" differently and it might produce something quite readable. Gotta go check that out.


  1. I know exactly what you're going through, C.Lee. I stalled on a WIP and then decided to revise an old manuscript. I just finished the revision and now have to decide whether I'm going to tackle the WIP again. Or maybe I'll just keep cleaning the house...

  2. My family knows when I'm in a slump, things look too shiny around the house.

    Good luck on that WIP, Nelsa!

  3. Hey, I recognize the inside of that refrigerator! Has to be a KitchenAid! Did the door of your butter compartment fall off, too?

  4. Hi Anne. Yes, that darned thing did, so I use the wine holder for the butter. I'm very clever. :-)

  5. I'd have to be in the slump of a lifetime to go near my fridges. I usually just wait until we move to clean them out, and even then, someone else usually does it for me, hehe (thanks mom).

  6. So true - my fridge got a clean out not too long ago - including some onions with very interesting colours. I should have tossed them in the yard! :)

  7. After my peach pit experience and my onion experience, I give nothing to the garbage men. I'll have to do a post about how my garbage turned into food on the table. :-)

    To Tracy: Mothers always do the things we need. Aren't they special?

  8. Love your onion metaphor, C.Lee.It's so hopeful. I can use a little of that.

  9. Thanks Clara. Yep, we all needs that hopeful stuff. It helps, doesn't it?


Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.