Tag Archives: Banksy

Abandonment Issues

Someone smarter than me (And probably richer too, so why should I bother to look up his name?) once said, “Novels are never finished. They are only abandoned.”

Unfortunately for us tortured penmonkeys, that does not mean that we can just give up in the middle of writing our book and expect someone to pay actual money for it. What it does mean is, “Your book is never going to be perfect, and you can only do so much revising, so eventually you’re going to have to learn to be happy with what you have and just put it out there, bucko.”

It’s a reality that every writer who ever plans to publish anything must face. And earlier this month it stared me straight in the eyes.

I was putting the finished touches on The Mulch Pile. I had done multiple edits on my own, in addition to farming out proofreading work to people nice enough to do it for free. (Speaking of which, huge thanks to Creste Meyer and Ellie Soderstrom for volunteering to help me make my work as pristine as possible.)

I was coming into the home stretch, reading through the story one last time, applying some final edits, when I was struck with a stunning realization:

The Mulch Pile I had written nearly two years ago was not the story I would have written today.

Okay, so maybe it should have been all that stunning. But it was somewhat disconcerting. After all that hard work, writing, rewriting, tweaking, rewriting some more…all of that and yet somehow looking back over it my current writer self was saying, “I could have done this better.”

It’s possible that’s just wishful thinking. It’s possible that everything I’ve learned in the past two years wouldn’t have improved the story of The Mulch Pile at all. But somehow I doubt it. I feel in my heart that if I had it to do over again, I could have created a better, more focused story and crafted a plot with better structure.

And yet The Mulch Pile went live a week later, largely unchanged.

Why? Is it because I’m a lazy bum, and I’m sick and tired of looking at this thing, obsessing over every little word, every turn of phrase and every hidden symbolic clue that no one’s likely to pick up on anyway?

Well, yes. But also, it’s because I’m not the writer I used to be.

The writer I used to be wrote The Mulch Pile. And it’s a good story. Not perfect mind you, but good. And if I let the writer that I am get pulled into constantly trying to improve and rewrite, I could get bogged down with this one story for the rest of my life.

Because the truth is, I’m getting better. I’ve been getting better over those two intervening years, and I plan to continue getting better over the years to come. The writer I am has his own stories to write. And the writer I’m going to be may very well look back on the stuff I’m doing today, and think, “I could have done it better.”

But he won’t. He won’t, because he won’t have time. He’ll be working on his own projects. Because life is about motion. It’s about moving forward.

The Mulch Pile was the best story the writer I was could have written. And with that I am satisfied.

How about the rest of you? Ever have to let go of one story so that you could move on to another? Share your tale of abandonment in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

Search Term Bingo!

This week and part of the next I am on vacation. What does that mean for you? It means I’m not going to be talking about writing. At all.

Instead I’m just going to try to have fun here. Maybe I’ll even skip a day or something. We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, please enjoy my commentary on a few of the most unusual search terms which have led people to my blog:

Is there cockroaches in spaghetti sauce?

You had better believe there is. Crushed up and dried over several years, cockroaches are the secret ingredient in all the best spaghetti sauces. This was not always the case. Up until 1947 no one had ever considered placing cockroaches in spaghetti sauce. Then, one fateful day, Curt Schumwick of Providence Rhode Island in an attempt to murder his mother-in-law ground up the cockroaches that had died behind his fridge and put them into the spaghetti sauce when she was not looking. And the rest is history.

Unfortunately many people’s prejudice against these incredibly tasty and nutritious animals has forced food companies to refer to these wonderful little critters as “carrot fiber” in their list of ingredients so be on the lookout for that.

I’m not evil. I’m angle.

They make pills for that now. Or so I’ve been told.

Dinosaur flavoured noodles

Holy crap, there are dinosaur flavoured noodles out there? Don’t even try to tell me they aren’t. The cat is out of the bag y’all, and he’s running straight for the dinosaur flavoured noodles. Because if there is one thing cats love it is the scrumptious taste of dinosaur. If your cat food isn’t dinosaur flavoured, your cat isn’t getting the very best he deserves and neither are you.

I am not having fun

And you found my blog with this search? Dude, now I’m just depressed.

Come to think of it, maybe I should write some “How to Have Fun” posts. Everyone talks about how to do other things like write and take pictures and fit in socially and stuff. Maybe someone needs to start talking about having fun.

It would seem like that would be a higher priority for most people.

Beans can make us feel fulfillment

Oh, you know that’s right. I had beans at my mom’s house the other day, and I was feeling all kinds of fulfillment. I had so much fulfillment that I went into fulfillment overload and had to vent some of my fulfillment right out into the atmosphere for the rest of the world to enjoy. Because I’m just that kind of awesome.

Writing sexy song ideas

I’ve got nothing. Every time I try to chat up a sexy song idea I get the evil eye and she moves to the other side of the room. It’s really doing a number on my self-esteem.

What was the theme song of the Union Balloon Corps?

Wait they had a theme song? Are you serious? Thaddeus S. C. Lowe actually had his own soundtrack? The are no words for how awesome that is.

I only have one question: was it a sexy song?

Green bean art

Okay now you’re just reading my mind. I thought green bean art was a completely original idea. I had it all planned out. I was going to take the art world by a storm. I was going to be the gardening version of Banksy.

Unfortunately the problem with doing vegetable art is that the medium doesn’t last very long. Half-way through The Green Bean Mona Lisa my beans started to rot at which point the sculpture turned into The Green Bean Zombie Mona Lisa.

It was, all in all, a happy accident.

My money is still on the cockroach

As is mine, good sir. As is mine.

Determination: it just takes a little hard work and a lot of ammunition

This is my new motto. That is all.