Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Pruning and the Author's Backlog

We started pruning the grapevines last week, and I'm considering what to do with the trimmings.

Normally I'd say compost them (we use everything that comes out of the ground, short of a few truly noxious weeds) but a few years ago we tried that. We cut the vines up into little tiny pieces and buried them in compost. A year later we had green, green, green!

The vines apparently didn't care that they weren't supposed to grow, or from such tiny pieces. This spring a handful of them came back after the winter and I ruthlessly yanked them out, since no one wanted them. And yes, we did ask.

The thing is, I have 450 mg + on my computer of stories I've never done anything with. Well over 1500 files of individual tales that have a page or less, sometimes only a single line. It comes from never throwing anything away. Since I was 8 years old, I've never deliberately thrown away the start of a story. I have a thick file in my drawer that I've never taken the time to transcribe.

I could bury them in compost and hope a few grow, but I'm afraid that won't work for anything with less vitality than a Concord grape. I could go back and look through them, hope something takes root, but I have new ideas, new fun ideas that I don't want to put aside for yesterday's attempts.

I honestly don't think I'll ever go back to most. I've pruned the vines away and they're out of mind. But from time to time when I start a new story I find the seed of something I started years ago is ready to come out.

I guess the grapevines were practicing, and if one out of 100 comes up, that's pretty good odds.

Unless no one wants my stories, in which case I will chortle madly and enjoy them myself.

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