I just did something that might drive me to distraction. I put a timer on. I don’t usually mind timers. They’re great tools. Without them, I’d burn the oatmeal or scones every morning. They’re also fantastic for word wars. What’s a word war? It’s when you and your writing buddies poise your fingers over your keyboard, or pens over your paper if you’re old school, set the timer, then GO!!! Person with the most words wins (super typers only get to win once). Well, I just set a timer for a blog post. AAAAAAAAAH! My inner editor is gnawing my brain. I can barely send an email with less than four rounds of edits and then, if my text comes back in the reply, I re-check it. So this should be interesting, because I certainly won’t have time for four edits.

Anyway….

Dandelion roots. I think I’ll make it my new swear phrase.  Yesterday I did yard work. In our yard. OUR yard. (It feels so good to say that. Ooouuurrrrr yard. Not the landlord’s. Ours. *contented sigh*) One of my daughters gets terrible rashes from dandelions, so although they’re barely up and there are no flowers to make them easy to spot, I decided to go on a dandelion hunt.

You know that verse in the Bible, “He who seeks, finds”? Well, boy howdy, did I find! They were everywhere! Like zombies in an apocalypse movie. Here I’d been wondering why my poor girl was covered in rashes, because I didn’t see any dandelions around, and the whole time she could barely put her foot down without stepping on one. I did the only decent thing a mommy could do.

ATTAAAAACK!

It was all out war. Chemicals don’t sit well with me, so I got the shovel and started digging. You know what I discovered? Several of them were all connected by the same root. The same half-inch (1 cm) thick, two or three feet (60 – 91 cm) root! One of my other daughters and I spent the better part of the afternoon digging and yanking. We didn’t every root, but I’m sure some of those bad boys are going to have a doozy of a time finding their way back to the surface this season.

So how does this relate to my writing? You already know where I’m going, don’t you? I’ve been editing Fairy Blood for… um… well, that’s not important right now. The point is, I’m starting to spot dandelions in my writing. At first, I only saw the big ones, with their blaring yellow flowers and gigantic, saw-edged leaves. As time goes on, though, I notice more and more of the little ones, those sneaky little brutes laying close to the grass, blending their colors perfectly with my lovely field of words, sucking the fun out of playtime. I don’t necessarily mean adverbs or multiple POV’s or whatever some uber-famous-but-oblivious-to-other-famous-authors’-writing author has a beef against. (Seriously? Does anyone else read Agatha Christie or Anne McCaffrey?)  I mean weeds that make ME itch.

Blaaah! There’s my timer. Flipping frog feet, I haven’t even gotten to the edit yet! I write way faster than this when I’m Nanowrimo-ing. Really. Aah! Shush already! Okay. Get to the point, Me.

The point is: I’m learning to spot dandelions. Eventually, I’ll be able to tell when a clump of them are connected. One day, with practice and perseverance, I hope to be adept at keeping most of them out of my writing altogether.

There you have it. My don’t-take-all-day-about-writing-for-a-cahnge post. How’d it go? Terrible? Decent? Gah! Someone make that coprolitic timer stop!!! I just have to do one edit. Just one. Two. Oh, forget it…Field of dandelions

Photo credit: Jeff Maher
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