Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Early A.M.

By Pat Cromwell

All I asked for Christmas was a visit from my muse, and that my favorite characters on my favorite soap operas have a better 2008. So, my second request was silly – in soap land there is no such thing as a better life or a good life that runs smooth. But that is what makes them so enjoyable. Now, getting back on track, lo and behold my muse appeared.

December 25th, around one in the morning, I’d just finished It’s A Wonderful Life, wrapped my last gift and had snuggled under my comforter when I was pulled from my slumber. I was literary snatched from my dreams of cheer and good will by the most persistent and unrelenting voices that a writer could hope to have! My goodness, what an amazing tale they were spinning.

My muse was on fire.

The voices in my head were adamant that I tell their story and they were quite indignant that I had wanted to wait until morning. It was of course my fault. I should have requested that my muse return at a proper hour. I can only surmise that I must to have been a very good girl for my Christmas wish to come about so quickly!

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I crawled out from the covers and fired up Old Betty. Yes, my laptop has a name. My car, which I’ve had for nearly seven years is still referred to as “Car”, but the HP has a name. Go figure. Again, I must get back on track…

The characters I penned that morning were in rare form, spilling their story. The keyboard of my laptop was ablaze. I laughed and I cried as the story unfolded and came to a satisfying conclusion.

I completed one story – about 7500 words - and started another.

Now comes the rewrites for the one I completed, followed by the nervous twitch that resides in the pit of my stomach prior to garnering the nerve to submit it. I kid you not when I say that submitting a story is the single most exhausting experience for me. Okay, so I have only submitted three times – accepted twice, and am currently anxiously waiting for word on the third, but it is exhausting none the less.

I am my own worse critic and no matter what I do, once a story is submitted I inevitably find editing errors or I second guess the plot. I think of ways to improve it and move dialogue around. Although I apply my “Pat’s Word List” prior to submission, after I hit send and the little bytes travel to the publisher, I always find those sneaky little words that hide in what I consider quick witted dialogue or descriptive prose. Oh yeah, did I mention that this list consist of killer words like waist versus waste, pass versus past … well you get the ideal.

Before bloging this morning, I scrutinized – again - the masterpiece I scribed on Christmas early am. A ritual I will probably under take for months. Who am I kidding? Probably. No, I think the more accurate sentence is definitely undertake for months to come.

Why? Now that is simple: I want it to be better than the one I wrote before, but secretly hope that it will not be as good as the next.

After all, that’s what growing is all about.

Happy Reading!Pat Cromwell
Behind Blue Eyes at

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