The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Toss It in the Trash

          My son came into town this weekend. Six foot-something. Twenty-four years old. All arms and legs and a stomach with an amazing capacity. (His metabolism is also incredible, but one day, it will slow down. And then stop altogether.)

        His first morning, I offered to make french toast for breakfast, but added that we had no syrup. He said, "I'll go to the store and get some." He then thoughtfully added, "While I'm gone, you can always start on the french toast." He's always thoughtful like that...

      The preparation of breakfast went without a hitch. I added nutmeg and cinnamon to the milk and egg mixture. Each side got equally cooked. The french toast ended up golden brown.

      The next morning, french toast was again a "menu" possibility. The Boy jumped at the chance to fill up once more on syrupy-bread and scrambled eggs and glasses of milk. (Because, hey, at Mom's Restaurant, the food is free and plentiful!)

       But this time, things did not go as planned. Two batches in a row got too brown. I tried to scrape away the almost-burned parts with a sharp knife; this works for toast, but not french toast. I ended up throwing eight pieces in the trash.

        I've got a trash can for my writing. It's a two-pocket folder that I've had for over a decade. The stories I've found no use for, the awkward poems that I've found no place for--they're in there.

       And they might stay there forever. If I'm able to scrape away the crappy parts and "recycle" the piece somehow, at some point I will--when the time is right.

        Don't be so in love with your words that you're hesitant to discard them. Slashing (and burning--in the case of french toast) is a necessary part of the writing process.


  1. So true! I have a 3-ring binder full of the unappetizing bits of my writing. When you try a new "recipe", sometimes it doesn't turn out well.

  2. Great analogy, Sioux. Okay. I'm hungry now. Time for breakfast.

  3. Janel--I love the metaphor of a new "recipe." That makes it sound not so bad, when we fail at a new endeavor...

    Donna--Eat breakfast, and then get writing.

  4. It's true. I tell myself "It'll do, but you can make it better" all the time when I am editing.

  5. I'm sure if you pulled out your stories/poems and did a little work on them, they'd be great. Cute son. And loved the analogy, but now I want some french toast!

  6. Great advice. And cute kid!


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