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I must remind myself—

they can’t tell that I didn’t write this bit immediately after that one

the six months where I ignored the manuscript are not visible to the naked eye

the bit where I put my head in my hands and muttered “I have no idea what I’m doing” takes place in the single space between the period and the next capital letter.

As soon as I shove that character in, she has always been there

and someone will probably say that she’s the emotional center

and the book couldn’t have been written without her

and nobody will know that I thought of her three thousand words from the end and scrolled up and shoehorned in a couple of paragraphs near the beginning because, for whatever reason, the story needed an elderly nun

she was almost the cook

and for about ten minutes she was the earnest young village priest

and now she has been there since you started reading.

I am sanding down the places where my editor found splinters

kicking up a fine dust of adjectives and dropped phrases

(Wear a breath mask. Work in a well-ventilated area. Have you seen what excess commas can do to your lungs?)

and eventually it will all be polished to a high shine

and hopefully when someone looks into it

they’ll see their own face reflected back

instead of mine.

That is really lovely - thank you.

Best description of the creative process ever.

Wonderful, and true.

(And I had the passing thought that excess commas in the lungs might explain William Shatner's acting style...)

*snort!* Hee totally had to read this aloud to hubby.


I want this over my desk.

Cut 25% and put it on a plaque.

I love this. I do this in songs All The Time.

I guess I'm seeing my own face reflected in it already. You win!

Oh man. Those last three lines. The holy grail of writing. Yes.

That's lovely, Urs, and spot on, but you knew that.

I don't know about what you've been writing, but this - this is glorious.

Pretty clearly, for this piece (who would have thought you could make poetry out of editing woes?) you can delete the "hopefully" in the 3rd to last line.