Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kool Aid on the Floor and Crayons in the Dryer--Emotions to Draw From

It's messy work, being a mom. This afternoon I was in the throes of discovering a melted green crayon in the dryer had speckled and streaked and ruined an entire batch of whites when the 8yo and the 6yo entered the laundry room baring gifts of red-soaked dishtowels.

"What's that?"

"She dumped it. We told her not to."

Red Kool-Aid. All over the newly mopped kitchen floor. Thanks, 3yo chica. Making my day, here.

At least they were trying to remedy the situation. I do have pretty darn good kids.

But life does get in the way of writing a lot of the time. My goal was to edit another 20 pages today. I'm doing the hard stuff, cutting from 95,000 words down to 85,000. Whole paragraphs and scenes are getting the ax. It's painful.

Yeah, it's painful enough to see my words, my creation circling the drain--I didn't need destruction swirling around me too.

Then again, it's these moments that give me experience to draw from. One of the things we have to do as writers is to imbue our characters with strong emotions (frustration and despair included.) And even though I hope I never write a story about a haggard mom slogging her way through the drudgery of housework, I can tap these experiences, notice how I feel and put it into words. Then I can transpose these feelings (no matter what source they come from) onto my characters and into their situations.

So, it's not all a loss. Not entirely.

I guess.

Red Kool Aid is my nemesis. (Even though it tastes fabulous. Especially Tropical Punch.)

Click Here for How to Get Red Kool Aid Out of Carpet


  1. I hear you, Jen! Children are often our greatest blocks to writing, and our greatest inspiration for writing well.

  2. I used to sit in 8th period Science class and think about the Tropical Punch awaiting me at home. Seriously. It got me through some tough 7th grade moments. Thank you, Kool-Aid. Thank you just for being you. (Sorry about your floor)


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