No way to write anything coherent this week, as we’re immersed in a great vat of prose. Heading out to a four-day music festival on Thursday, but before that trying to finish another edit on a new novel Blind Walls to enter in several contests—deadline June 30. We’d thought we were finished with it, but every revisiting reveals more that wants to happen and more that wants to get junked.
So this week, the blog consists of out-takes. It’s always hard to excise passages that feel like genius but just don’t fit, but hey, what’s a blog for if not to publish stuff that makes no sense. So I’ve put together a very brief collage (brief at least by comparison to the full scrap-heap) of stuff that we’ve cut in the last three days. So enjoy it now, as it’ll never see the light of day.
*** Her wages were more than generous, and the working conditions—rest breaks, overtime, sick leave—couldn’t be matched anywhere he knew of. For his money, the upper classes could use more of her eccentricities.
*** How could I know this? Simple: it was in my head. The truth is what’s in your head.
*** He saw her lips flatten, her eyes widen and cross slightly, the signal that she was about to give an order. One of the carpenters did a hilarious imitation, though Marty as foreman warned him about it.
*** A half hour into the tour and my fancies were playing hopscotch. My neighbor’s dog would have those moments, barking and barking when nothing was there. At least I refrained from barking at these phantoms.
*** Why I ever plunked down good money for those paintings when one could ride out any day and look at the ocean itself and smell it and hear the gulls, all for free!
*** I fled from the playground asphalt, cheeks wet with shame, kids’ laughter burning my ears. Mother would look at the rip in the “nice-looking slacks” she insisted I wear to school and shake her head sadly.
*** “I’m one of those Impressionist painters who paint all sorts of colors side by side to create the vision of air and sunlight, though I myself finger-paint in oily murk.”
*** And then I might have told her, and told my fellow travelers, that tears were bullshit, that they never worked, that nothing would wash away. Yet—
*** “I’m told I’m obsessed with spying on servants. I have special windows, they say. But then why should I not? Ladies should always have a hobby.”
*** There were rogue scenes I remembered that I had never seen—flakes of dandruff from my harried scalp or vague mumbles of light on my dry dust retinas. I never saw them because they never happened: Sophia hearing the outbreak of war and spilling her tea; a reporter knocking at the door, drenched by a chamber pot; Isabella announcing her engagement to a dwarf; Chuck finding the ominous gardener dead; the old lady slamming the door on Teddy Roosevelt, his mustache drooping, his nose blooming red; an astrologer urging that she remove the roof to access the stars.
*** only an arid prairie yearning for rain
*** take some leftover ribs from the fridge
There are about 10,000 words of debris like that for every novel or play we’ve ever written. I tell myself that I keep them because they might fit somewhere, sometime: Flying Dutchman blurbs that never come into port. I would guess that every writer has them, though I don’t know that many writers.
And now I’ve just cut two different final sentences for this blog post, speculating on why I do it at all. Fact is, I have no idea. I’d better just leave it there.