Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finish What You Start

I'm sure I've said this before, but experience is teaching me how true it is.

Finish what you start writing.

It doesn't matter if it's a lousy first draft with terrible characterization and a sappy ending. What's important is that it's equally lousy throughout.

If you don't finish, then you get a hunchback of Notre Dame kind of monster where parts are extremely overworked and polished, and parts are spindly and lousy, and parts are just missing, and who wants to attach garbage to fine jewelry? It's paralyzing.

Nope. Better to puke the whole mess out at the start and work on cleanup later when you can stand to look at it again.

That's not really the best analogy, since most people don't make sculpture out of vomit, but it's the best I can do this morning.

Finish what you start.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


A tiny garden spider took up residence in my bathroom several weeks ago. No idea where she came from. One morning, she was there in the corner, sitting in her invisible web. It was cold outside, and she had caught two ants, so I let her be.

She later caught another spider. She was earning her keep, and staying close to her web, so I let her be.

In the last week or so, she has caught nothing. The ants aren't coming inside anymore. I worried about her. A spider has to eat to live and spin webs. The longer she went without food, the less likely she became to be able to do anything about it. I should move her outside.

But she's a house spider. She doesn't know The Big World. She isn't prepared for temperature extremes or thunderstorms or birds or bigger spiders.

What spider is prepared? Spiders know only what God programmed them to know: survival. They do what they can because it's all they have.

This morning, I caught her (very carefully, because a spider can get trapped in her own web) and took her out to the compost pile, where I hope ants are plentiful enough even for a starving arachnid, and there is some shelter from rain until she gets established. I hope she does well. I hope she grows and meets a mate and has a sack full of baby spiders. I have no way of knowing, but I choose to hope, even though my heart says I waited too long and her best hope is to be eaten quickly.

I wish I didn't care so much about spiders and wasps and flies and earthworms and crows and - well, you get the idea. I wish I didn't believe from my heart that all life comes from God and is therefore precious and deserving of respect and kindness. I wish I was OK with nature's cruelty, and didn't believe it is only a result of The Curse that Adam and Eve and every human since brought down on creation.

If wishes were fishes, we'd all eat steak.

God's blessing, little spider. By His grace, we'll meet again, and you can tell me your adventures in The Big World.