Friday, January 6, 2012
TEARING DOWN CHRISTMAS
One ornament broke this year. Maybe a record. A snowman left without a head. It makes for a good picture and a great symbol of the pain-after-Christmas blues and one of the worst realizations that comes during my edits. For me, tearing down Christmas (or the remnants of the celebration) is like pulling out a beloved chapter from my book after so many drafts. I’ve realized those lovely twenty pages are not necessary to the plotline.
Christmas season is when the chapter emerges and grows, takes better shape and gets cut and paste into the rest of the book. The ornaments added, friends seen after a long time. I love it. It's pretty. It's festive and brilliant.
But Christmas is crazy. Too busy. So many emotions associated with soldered memories. Rushing about getting ready for parties: cleaning, cooking, and decorating. Essentially it is the equivalent of writing the book. And when it's all over, the worst part comes: tearing it all down and stuffing it under the crawl space. For the book, editing and letting it simmer.
But the infatuation with the words, like the Christmas decor, must go. It crowds the living room. It crowds and waters down the book. It must go. Snip snip, into the dump folder.
What does removing a precious chapter from your work-in-progress feel like to you?