Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Strawberries


A couple of weeks ago, I bought strawberries. From that experience, I learned a couple of things.

1. Don't hoard. Use what you have. Because the strawberries are getting expensive, now that their season is done, I was saving them, doling them out a few at a time instead of just eating them daily for breakfast. (I know. Doesn't make sense. My parents were big on "saving" things as "treats," so at least I come by it honestly.)

Anyway, the strawberries: they got furry. I wish I had just eaten them, savoring them as I went along.

When I'm writing, I sometimes resist an urge to include an image. "I'll just have to take it out later," I think. "It's too many ideas," I think. And maybe I'm right. Maybe I will have to take it out later. But that's not what I'm doing -- I'm not revising. I'm writing. Maybe it won't fit -- but maybe it will inspire the image that does fit, perfectly, the element that makes the story take off. Writing and revising are two different things. Writing is not about hoarding or saving or doling out. That comes later. 

2. Don't assume. I mentioned that the strawberries are expensive -- they're going from a staple to a splurge. And speaking of cost, how does it make sense to eat something out of season when in-season produce is also available at less expense to the planet? Strawberries are only one kind of fruit, and all fruits have pros and cons. Apple pie, anyone?

About writing: I see metaphors a lot (as you may have noticed). Not necessarily good metaphors, but what I at least perceive to be Images of Great Meaning. Whether they end up in a finished work or come out (see above), they indicate Writing. I reason that if I've got me a metaphor, I must be producing writing of some kind. However, Images of Great Meaning are not the only tools in the toolbox. Perhaps this story needs a change in point of view. Or in narrator. Or in plot. Perhaps all the metaphors should come out. Try an apple instead.

Two lessons so far. Others? Probably. Time for pie!