Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Suffering of Flies and Writers

Please know that my oldest son not only loves animals, he is also a vegetarian. So when I write that he pulled the wings off of a fly today, it was an accident. He was annoyed with the buzzing sound and was trying to put it outside. The wings just kind of fell off, he said.

Poor fly.

And while that fly will most certainly die, I feel a long distance kinship with it as I write the rough draft of Scout and Ellie, The Giraffe Next door. Okay, work with me here, people. It's not as though I had my legs cropped off, or my computer taken away, or any thing drastic like that. But well, sometimes it feels pretty close.

I mean, the last chapter, was it too whiny, slap-sticky, dull, or telling? Did the dialogue flow or sound even half-way realistic? That chapter about the apple orchard. Did I describe how messy it got in a comical enough way? Is the entire book going to be a cheap imitation of the rest of the series? Like a knock off Gucci bag from Tijuana?

Every day I am committed to writing a chapter a day. The only thing that allows me to go back to continuing the next day, is remembering that 'the first draft of anything is shit', as per Ernest Hemingway. Not that I could even be worthy of standing in his Writing shadow. But writing shit the first time around is something I hold dear to my heart as a connection with his greatness. It's in the revisions that I will never catch up with him.

So at night, after the chapter day, is when the torment wakes me: Was this Juvenile Humor chapter book funny in ANY way.

How I ever sleep is beyond me.

Tonight I'll have even more to worry about. We tried to get to that fly, but it keeps hiding in the window sill. My son says we should just leave it to become a spider's dinner. But that seems beyond cruel to me. I mean, can you imagine dying wingless, alone, and stuck in a web? I say we should kill the little guy to save him from more pain. It's the least we could do.

Wingless fly and dull humor story for kids. Why am I even on this planet if that is all I can produce in a whole day. I think I'll just quit now and read 'The Help' for the rest of the night. At least then I can know that there are good authors out there--and be supporting them with my silent accolades of appreciation.

I'm going to hum 'The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow' with Little Orphan Annie to get myself to sleep tonight. And pray that tomorrow, humor will come my way and spill out onto the keyboard as I write. Could happen, right?

Heather Leigh,
Owner of the wingless fly

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