24 September 2010
Failure is hard to admit. So it’s taken me a while to write about the bejeweled tombstones. The result did not match my imagination. In fact a quick straw poll (Prince Consort and I) resulted in an unanimous vote that the beglamoured tombstones would not be set outside where the neighbors could see them. A private viewing inside only.
The truth is the first headstone looked so little like my vision, that I sprinted to Wal-Mart for those pumpkin gels that are supposed to go on windows. They adhere nicely to the remaining plastic tombstone, and the result … well Prince Consort and I agree, if I hadn’t Gorilla glued the jewels to the first tombstone, we’d still have our pair of outdoor decorations.
The bejeweled tombstone is like my five unsold novels, I have lots of Different ideas. In my head award winning originals. But it’s all in the execution. I’ve come much closer to selling two of my mss. than the beglamoured bejewled Halloween headstone came to being outdoors worthy.
I know the difference. I piled glue and jewels and ideas on the kitchen counter and slapped them together. The result just wasn’t.
I work a lot harder on my writing. I’ve studied, read book after book, attended workshops and conferences, taken courses, joined writing organizations, joined critique groups, begged critiques from everyone and their pet pig. (Unfortunately pet pigs are far more discriminating than one would guess. Their critiques tend to be fairly devastating.)
I’ve revised. And revised. And revised. And sometimes I go too far. Too much glue and jewels/others’ suggestions on the manuscript. Not my vision. I return to the beginning, start my story over. The pumpkin gels and fake fall leaves show up at once to let the reader know the story takes place on Halloween. The moon blows through the clouds in time for the tombstone to crack wide, spilling jewels. My quirky protagonist gathers up the jewels, swearing up a blue streak (the same curses that I deleted when they offended a ladylike critiquer.) No sooner does she see her way out of an empty bank account than two trolls, six banshees, and a chronically drunk ghost show up to take them back. No way …
It’s a shame the glue won’t come off the tombstone as easily as I can revise a manuscript. It’s going to take a lot more practice to get the crafting thing. But just as I can’t give up on writing, I’m ready for the next new craft. I’ll put together those visions both literary and decorative.
I’ll just need maybe a touch less Gorilla Glue.
If I manage to post the tombstone photo, remember, this is a private viewing.