Monday, August 26, 2013

Doing More Weeding

Working at the garden involves a mixture of heavy labor and waiting. There was a point in time when I wanted to be in perpetual motion. This came from a skewed perspective on body image, along with an inability to hold still in general. While I no longer twitch my legs constantly before sleeping (husbands don't take fondly to endless bed shaking) I do need to keep busy or I go a little stir crazy. It doesn't have to be much, but I need something to do. Just sitting and staring at space doesn't do it for me.

So when we are between jobs, or I am considers incapable of helping with a certain project, I weed. I guess I was in training before I came with the work I was doing in my own yard. Thankfully, I haven't gotten blisters this time around, and I have gained some patience in hunting them all down.

It is amazing how liberating spending time at the garden can be. Sure, there is a lot of hard work, but when I am there I am transported back to a simpler time in life. Breathing in the fresh air, feeling my muscles burn, and knowing that I don't have an alarm set for the morning is so refeshing. I'm not going to lie, I'm going to miss this life, but I'm hoping to bring the peace I've regained here back with me.

I've also been doing another kind of weeding. I am busy in my spare time going over my book for the fourth time. There are so many little details to dig into deeper. There are unnecessary adjectives to prune, useless phrases to dig out, and frustrating repetitive moments to eradicate. If I can convey the same meaning with less, I am. If I can make a sentence more direct, I do. I am learning more and more about my original drafts with each passing perusal.

I have never been good at editing. I like to write something once, and be done with it. Sometimes, when I do edit, I have not waited long enough, and the words sound right, because they have freshly come from my mind. But even in my journal writing I have tried to cut down on repetitiveness. Words like "really," "just," "always," and "only" can easily be overusd. I have also found a number of incidents when I have used a more unusual phrase twice on the same page. Horrifying.

There is another thing i have discovered that is diaconcerting. I shy away from being direct. Rather than saying, "he was angry," I say, "he appears to be angry." It bothers me that in my writing I am afraid to say things straight. If I do not know how my characters feel, how can anyone else? Why am I afraid to give voice to the reality? Does this issue run deeper than my writing? A few things to ponder as I clear the way for my book to be purified and ready for mass consumption.

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