Delete and Dump or ?–On Revising

Mac OS X trash icon when it contains files.

Image via Wikipedia

Today I took some time to garden, cutting back some of the plants spent by the early onset of cold weather in Reno (it was 36 at our house this morning). Grass has invaded the flower garden and only a few splashes of color remind us of the beauty that visited us during the long spring we had this year.

As I was pruning and dead-heading, my mind wandered to the manuscript inside, waiting for me to get serious about completing a third edit. A writing buddy, Pam, is the first one to have read it and she returned the manuscript with her notes a week or so ago. I’ve avoided sitting down and facing those comments. I remember the pain of cutting scenes when I was rewriting “Winter is Past.” I confess to falling in love with my words and having to abort them hurt me to the core. But they didn’t move the plot forward…or worse, they dragged the reader, kicking and screaming, out of the story.

What did I do with those short descriptions or lengthier scenes? Sadly, some of them ended up in the recycle bin or wastebasket, only to be annihilated when I cleaned computer files or emptied the trash, but after a while I got smart and made a file where I cut and pasted my discarded work. A few have woven their way into or even inspired a poem. One became the basis of a (very dark) short story. Others are on hold, waiting for me to rescue them from the limbo of sub-existence. Maybe I’ll pay them a visit and see what happens.

I have another idea brewing, though. It came to me when I was struggling with the climbing rose, trying to get her to go in the direction I wanted. Maybe we could start a little dump site for these rejected pieces of prose or poetry…a place on my blog where you can share your beloved rejects and give them another chance at life. Any thoughts on this? Please comment, if you would.