OMISSIONS: the little darlings we kill

 

As some of you may know, my first book, Life’s Too Short, is being released this month(!!!) So for this round of OMISSIONS, I thought it would be interesting to share with you one of the stories I ultimately cut from the series to make it a more cohesive collection. I’ve heard so many writers refer to this process as “killing our little darlings.” With writers, it’s always life or death.

We labored through sweat and tears to bring these words into the world, and now we’re supposed to erase them, delete them from existence, these little pieces of ourselves?  Don’t we writers suffer enough?

Oh hush, you know you love it. The suffering that is, not the editing. But any great piece of writing is always edited, always suffered over. I remember the first day in my MFA program, the professor made us write a two-page story, then cut one word from every sentence, and one sentence from every paragraph. It was incredibly difficult to do when I first started writing and still is. And though I don’t think you ever stop mourning for certain words, certain sentences, certain stories which are never published, the writing gets stronger, and eventually so do we.

 

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Photographs from the series, The Jersey Shore, by Bay Area photographer Christine Zona http://www.zonafoto.net/

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I even refer to the word document where I put all of the large cuts I make as “the graveyard.” I know I probably won’t end up using 99% of it (own that confidence, writer, you made those cuts for a reason), but it feels appropriate, safe, respectful to honor those feelings and emotions. What about you? What is your editing process like? Do you have your little darlings? How do you let them go? Is yoga involved?

And before I forget, please, join me for my book release on March 30th at Alley Cat Books in San Francisco. Endless thanks to Fourteen Hills Press and Small Press Distribution. Hope to see some of you there 🙂

The Memory of Your Mouth Slick with Mezcal

When we kissed, your breath knotted me temple to tail. I felt bound, yet unsaved. The memory of your mouth, slick with mezcal, is immortal. But time giveth and taketh, sands our fingerprints from the wall. Your scent (amnesiatic fluid, gasoline, semen) ignites fire behind walls of scars in my rug burned hands and knees. But your memory will not illuminate my jilted flesh, the landscape you forfeit each passing day the telephone never rings.

You wanted me to be good. I do not apologize I tasted your mouth, scarred the crossroads of my body with your teeth, slick with mezcal. Better to be wild than be paradise.

 

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