Rag-Picking

fuel for coffee shop writingAs usual, I’m at the coffee shop this morning, jump-starting my weekend.  The picture to the left shows my usual fuel for writing in the early mornings.  24 oz. latte, a banana, and a 24 oz bottle of water.  I always think it will help me perform magic. It doesn’t, but it tastes good, so it’s still worth it.

This week has been busy at the day J.O.B., so much so that I come home completely wiped out and unable to think.  That makes it hard to write at night, so I’ve been reading instead.  And mostly I’ve been reading some older pieces I’ve written, looking for gems to pull together for some sort of a novel.  I call this process “rag-picking.”  As I’ve worked on this particular story idea for the last five or six years, there are a lot of rags to pick through.

And not surprisingly, that big lie we all tell ourselves comes into play.  “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”  In this case, I have snippets of this particular story idea in so many places on my hard drive that I can’t seem to find them all.  I know I wrote a bang-up car crash scene (gosh, I’m punny this morning!), but I can’t find it.  Last night I stumbled across an alternate opening scene I’d completely forgotten about, and dang if it isn’t better than the four others I already found.  Some of the pieces are five or six pages, some more than thirty.

Are all these snippets at least in the same folder on my hard drive?  Of course not!  I’ve found them in a couple of NaNoWriMo folders (2010 and 2012), in my usual place (“novels”), and one just hanging out on my desktop.  I found one hiding in the folder for Fairest of the Faire. And I never save things to my desktop.  What the heck was I thinking by putting one of those snippets there?

Who knows!  Writer’s brains are messy.  We leave our stuff everywhere up there in our cerebellum, and once in a while a floating bit of an idea taps us on the shoulder and we follow the idea right down the rabbit hole.  My hard drive is a reflection of what is going on in my brain, I think.  As organized as I usually am, this one thing seems to get out of order pretty quickly.

But that’s okay.  It’s kind of like a walk of discovery, digging around in boxes of knick-knacks and old t-shirts and photos of vacations, finding that gem or two that is worth rescuing.  I’m rag-picking.  Those bits and pieces will make a great quilt of a story someday.

That is, if I don’t end up stuck in the rabbit hole…

I’d love to hear about your current WIP, if you’d like to share.  Leave me a comment!


One thought on “Rag-Picking

  1. Great blog, I cut scenes that don’t work and elves hide them in the computer where I’d never look until I gave up and wrote it a second time.

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