For whatever reason, I’ve been hungry for cabbage soup, so I made two big pots of it today–one for John and me, one for my sisters (who love soup, but hate to cook). I used two Dutch ovens, and they LOOK about the same size. Except they weren’t. By the time I sauteed the sausage slices, added onions, carrots, potatoes, and diced tomatoes, along with seasonings and broth, one pot had room for the sliced cabbage and one didn’t.
At the moment, my head feels like pot number 2. If I add anything else, something is going to overflow and spill out. John and I love people, but we’re not exactly social. Most nights, we’re just as happy staying home as going out. But September has been a buffet of friend delights. Our calendar has never had as much ink on it for things to do. I’ve loved every minute of it, but when I sit down to write, I can tell there’s more jiggling around in my brain than usual.
I always rewrite whatever I wrote the previous day before I let myself write anything new. I have to. I’d never put in the time to do it right if I had to rewrite an entire manuscript. It’s too daunting, so I rewrite in stages. Polish yesterday’s chapter before I start a new one. Polish a fourth of my manuscript before I move to the next one. And I can tell I’ve been busy, a bit distracted. There are sentences with missing words. The ideas are there, but little things haven’t stuck to the page. They’ve spilled out. Or I’ve used the wrong name for the wrong person. Little things. Things you can mop up and clean. But things that don’t usually happen.
I know this story is far enough in to find its own way. I wake up in the mornings with tweaks and new scenes in my mind. The characters take turns I didn’t expect. The book can hold its own with everything else that’s happening this month. But if the writing holds its ground, something else has to give. I forget to put the chicken out to thaw or my foot goes in my mouth and I sound as intelligent as a hamster when I open my mouth.
Have I reached the point that if something pops into my brain, something has to fall out? Not usually, but I’ve never been a multi-tasker, and when life gets busy, little things bite the dust. We all lead busy lives these days. I hope you juggle better than I do. Happy writing!
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