It’s one that saddens me deeply.
Bidding farewell to a dear old friend is never easy, but we’d just reached a point where things couldn’t go on like this anymore.
I’m talking about my favorite pair of jeans. Red Engine, the low-rise Firebell style with boot-cut legs and a double-button closure.
It’s not that they don’t fit anymore. On the contrary, they fit like a glove.
Well, a glove with several substantial holes that leave me flashing my underwear at strangers.
|Me and my poor, dead jeans.|
I’ve had them professionally patched, but there are only so many patches a pair of jeans can handle before there’s not much denim left. Then you’re left waddling like a duck with chaffed inner thighs as you display inappropriate bits of flesh at the guy helping you try on summer sandals.
Feel free to supply your own theory about why it’s the crotch area that keeps blowing out.
As I’m retiring these jeans with the dignity they deserve, it got me thinking about old manuscripts.
Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my hard drive is the first novel I ever wrote. I haven’t looked at it for years, but I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it sucks.
A lot of authors will cannibalize old manuscripts, stripping out characters or scenes to use in other books with a better chance of seeing the light of day. It’s a smart thing to do.
I’ve written eight full manuscripts and six partials in the last eight years, and since my recent contract is for three books, you can do the math and figure I have a number of stories that may never see the light of day.
Some of them have terrific characters and clever bits of dialogue I wouldn’t mind borrowing for current stories.
But I just can’t.
There’s always that tiny voice in my brain saying, “what if?”
What if I become a runaway bestseller and someday look at that story with fresh eyes and the promise of a fat advance check? What if this book could be rehabbed into something new – something fresh and marketable and not suck-worthy?
So I can’t quite give up on those old books – can’t bring myself to strip out the good stuff and leave them for dead.
But I can ditch the jeans. I will retire them in a private ceremony attended only by close friends and family. There will be flowers and somber music, and maybe a team of hired mourners.
I will mention one bright spot in the whole thing. Guess what showed up in the mail yesterday? It’s the shirt I blogged about last week:
|Jealous? To get your own, go here.|