I was happy with the bundle I picked on Monday. Gardening is an act in patience and it is beginning to pay off. Two tomatoes ripen, the eggplant is long and delicious, the Kale is growing wild, and I’m trying to cut the cucumbers before they become too big. The tomatoes seem to be growing bigger this year and there are many green ones hanging on the vines.We gave the plants a bit more room and they are in a row at the back of the garden instead of rows of three next to each other. The plants seem to be bigger and more plentiful this year. Apparently, the squirrels can’t wait for the tomatoes to mature either and have started to steal some. The culprit is pictured below. We have lost two tomatoes (As far as we know) from this little guy and the first one he didn’t even finish. Ungrateful little fur-ball. I joke. We have plenty growing to go around, I just wished he asked first. Another surprise happened with the shape the eggplants. We were expecting Black Beauty Eggplants, which are fat and round. We are surprised the eggplants growing are long and thin but who cares? They are still savory. The peppers are almost big enough to pick. There is something better about growing your own ingredients. Maybe its the taste or the freshness nevertheless I can’t wait to get cooking.
I thought I trained my brain to write in the afternoon then last night my mind wouldn’t turn off. I was comfortable in bed with the light off and my brain started to weave words. I was tired and when I’m tired I always think everything sounds noble prize brilliant. I didn’t have a notebook and pen by my bed (what happen to my night notebook?). I didn’t have my phone either. (It is best left charging in the other room incase of 3am emergency alerts.)
Why didn’t I get up and listen to the muse that decided the best time to visit was bed time? I can’t help but think of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk and that quote by Tom Waits where a muse or melody visited him while he was driving and he said, “Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today.”
I guess my muse is still in adolescence and although it might see me showing up to the table it doesn’t always feel like writing when I do. It would rather stay in bed and sleep in some days. Then as the light switches off it remembers all it had to say and decides it can’t wait until morning. Now, when the words come, I can sleep because I have less anxiety knowing I’m not missing a story I can write tomorrow. Sometimes, in the morning, I am disappointed I can’t remember what was running through my head but I move on. I start the day with my writing schedule. Occasionally, I find the muse shows up to the table and those days we work in harmony. Those are the days I’m fighting for so I have my nights for sleep.
I have kept many notebooks and journals with “poems,” ideas for novels and short stories scribbled between their pages. It shouldn’t be surprising when I started using my laptop to write I would hoard it on my hard drive and I have. Recently, I decided it was time to go through and organize my computer. I was cleaning and organizing my laptop and I found many story and article ideas that have lead nowhere. I deleted some. For this small feet I am so proud of myself. It is hard for me to throw away anything I have written. I still find and keep tiny pieces of paper with sentences I have created falling out of other notebooks of scribes I swear I’ll need one day.
A few I finished and put on this blog. The last two post, “Go Out And Adopt a Pet” and “To Whom Ink May Concern” were two articles in my documents never being read. “Adopt a Pet” was an article I wrote as a writing sample for a job application (which I didn’t get). “Ink” was a blog article I was writing for years. I thought it should finally be finished and see the light of day. I put most away into files but now what to do with them? I keep asking myself, “Will I use these ideas and create a short story, novel, or screenplay out of them? There aren’t as many on my laptop or computer as there are in my closet.
Diaries, journals, and notebooks collecting dust with sentences I’ll never use. Do I just burn or shred everything without a glance or read and edit it all waiting for the day I may use it? I guess the best thing would be to throw them out but I must go through them first. Memories and feelings I have forgotten. I read through one of my diaries once. It was hilarious. I recalled that I was just as ridiculous (I’m not talking about rude or obnoxious) at 18 or 22 as every other 18 or 22 year old. I think I would like my novel to be like Roman á clef and use those times/feelings in a book but will I? I know these are the questions every writer asks themselves but the feeling can be overwhelming. Some of the young pieces, like the short story I wrote when I was 12, I will keep. This stage in my life reminds me of a quote from Edgar Degas which said, “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” They are cute, funny, and a memento of when I thought all I wrote was a priceless piece ready for publication.
Cleaning is causing me to make decisions and with these little things I’ve created it feels like a big deal. However, I know no matter how much you like a piece or section sometimes it doesn’t fit and you need to edit it out. You can put it on the side and hope to use it somewhere else one day but it is very unlikely it’s ever used again.
How do you keep your writing? Do you have an expiration date before you can delete it, do you trash right away, or do you keep every thought that makes it on paper (or screen)? How do you organize these scraps of ideas?