Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bead by Bead

My son loves art projects. Usually I just keep an art drawer full of pipe cleaners, pom poms, markers, paper and glue and he just...creates. Well, I had this brilliant idea to buy melty beads. You know-those tiny little beads you place on peg boards, then iron so the design melts together. Why I thought it might be a good idea for a four year-old, I'm not sure. It tested my patience as a thirty year-old because as you place each new bead, the bead you just placed sticks to your fingers and falls off.

Somehow, we both managed to fall into a groove after much trial and error. We were working side-by-side, each beading our own board, wrapped in our creative silence. Then BAM! (Did I really believe it would last?) "It's keep falling off. IT'S KEEP FALLING OFF." So he SWIPED his hand across the table and all those beads went skittering everywhere. In a patient mother voice (which was not the voice I used when he kept dropping boogars on my bed during naptime) I told him to just try it agin. "Sometimes we have to be patient and just do it again."

My thoughts immediately turned to my manuscript because for the last few days I've been toying with the idea of ditching it, starting something new from scratch. New state, new home, new friends, new book...right? What I really find intimidating about my book is that the more I write, the more I discover how much writing and rewriting is left to do. (Insert above advice to my son.) My book has been like that fatal iceberg. It seemed a modest and fun task from far away, but the closer I get I realize what a monster lurks below the surface and it's threatening to sink my ship. (Those of you who can't tolerate cheesy metaphors are excused.)

The irony is I was considering starting a new book from scratch, as if that book would somehow be different. My husband finally convinced me to stay with it when I read some of my (latest) beginning to him. He told me I should spend more time writing. (WHAT TIME?...This is another blog post.) Anyway, I appreciated the vote of confidence. Now I'm going to go gather up my beads and keep moving forward. ("Moving forward" meaning I also need to stop rewriting my beginning and FINISH the rewrite once and for all.)


  1. What time? That's great. I'm with you on that--I have time to write. But only because I neglect essential stuff. Like laundry and dishes and hugging my children. How sad.

  2. I finally reached a point with my first book where I just couldn't edit anymore! The current version was too ingrained in my brain. From the excerpt I read of yours, I can't imagine your book needs anymore editing. I will say though, starting a new book is sooo freeing!!

  3. P.S. There is a serious lack of caustic banter going on between us these days. It's weird...

    Booger Bed!

  4. I'm actually not querying Jaded right now. I never really have. I think I sent like 3 query letters before deciding I would rather give my current WIP a try. I like it better. I'm one of those that always thinks my last book sucked. But I promised myself and my friends I would query after I finish this time. So, that should be in about a month or two. We'll see how it goes. Are you querying?

  5. I like you, Jessie Oliveros. And I think your book will be outstanding, no matter how many rewrites it takes!

  6. Well said! Sometimes it's so much easier to revise and revise because that section is something we're already familiar with. Still, even the best revision days can't beat those times when you write something new and brilliant. Good luck to you. I hope once you get past this tricky part it will all flow again.