Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Master of the Universe

I was quite pleased to install—by myself!—features on this blog that will allow readers to subscribe to the content through email or via a feed. Those links are located under the blogroll and "about me" sections, on the left. This way, you’ll automatically get notified every time the site is updated. Of course, I have no idea if these features really work…or what a “feed” actually is…only that “all” the cool blogs have them, and that I am perhaps overly impressed that a non-technological person such as myself could have installed them. Feel free to enlighten me on their function and/or usefulness…and do let me know if there’s anything else all the other cool blogs have that I don’t. (Yes, yes, I know—photographs. Perhaps someday I’ll learn how all that works…probably about the same time some new technology has made it all obsolete.)

I will also confess that I had a bit of a “master of the universe” moment in my writing late last week, when I finished a revision of a chapter that had been plaguing me for several weeks. My big moment came when I was staring at the end, thinking, “How on earth does this wind up?” when a great last line came to me in a flash. I typed it in, stared at it for a moment, then typed in one additional word…and the line became even greater (though I hadn't imagined that was possible!).

Of course, I instantly realized that my immense attachment to the line meant I should cut it, thanks to the “kill your darlings” rule. In my defense, I offer the thoughts of one of my favorite writing teachers who advised us to “write until something surprises you. Then you know it’s good.” I was definitely surprised, and the line ends the chapter on the perfect note. (Can I confess to a quick welling up of tears? Am I the only one secretly excited by and embarrassed with tears over my own work?)

I’m keeping it for now. Let’s see what happens when my writing group reads it. I can count on them to be clear-headed, totally unfraid to kill my precious darlings for me.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.