Landmines, literal and metaphorical (Writing Wednesday)

On Monday I took Baby Bear on an outing to the UXO museum (unexploded ordinance), because it’s never too early in life to learn about cluster bombs. (Or because I was desperate to get out of the house and the UXO museum is just a five-minute walk away).

Dominic wasn’t all that impacted by the cluster bombs, he was far more concerned with the fact that I handed him over to the woman who was standing guard over the empty, one-room exhibit, and looking at him longingly. I figured that anyone who had to talk about landmines all day deserved a baby snuggle. Dominic wasn’t sure that he agreed.

More about the UXO museum later, but today’s Wednesday. Wednesday is for writing. Except… I’ve spent much of the last ten days poring over Book Baby with a fine-tooth-comb (for what is at least the tenth time) before I send it off for copy-editing. There’s not much you can do to make that process interesting to read about.

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

Writing is a fairly lonely business unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then have to ask them to leave.
Marc Lawrence

So for this week’s writing Wednesday I’m sending you over to GlimmerTrain’s website to check out Janis Hubschman’s list of ten craft techniques that have been most helpful to her on her own writing journey. The post is called Steal This List and I think it’s worth stealing (or at least saving so that you can refer to it when you hit a landmine in your own story).

To close, a conversation Mike and I had over the dinner table after my outing to the UXO museum.

Mike: “What did you think?”

Me: “I was surprised to learn that the number of landmine accidents in Laos is on the decline – from about one a day, to one every two or three days.”

Mike: “Yeah, but, still…”

Me: “I know. Can you imagine? I mean, how much would it impact our lives to lose a limb, or worse, in a landmine accident? And we’re not even technically dependent on our limbs to make money for our families.”

Mike: “If you lost an arm in a landmine accident it would slow down your writing … (pause) … which would impact our family income not at all.”

Luckily for Mike, I thought this was not only true but also funny.

Come back later this week to read about the UXO museum, or maybe joy. I haven’t decided yet. Thanks for dropping by.

5 responses to “Landmines, literal and metaphorical (Writing Wednesday)

  1. Interesting, and kinda scary fact y’got there about Laos. Yikers. I love that Oscar Wilde quote… probably because I’ve done something like that before. Ha.

    • I feel like a lot of editing can get down to this level. Even scarier is the fact that I really do believe this level matters! PS Your post about twitter made me laugh.

  2. Love the writing list Lis- very helpful. I follow @AdviceToWriters on twitter and they are often linking useful stuff like this- I just eat it up.

    Reckon I disagree with that second quote about writing being lonely- although I do see the point (and also coming from the perspective of somebody who’s never had to edit anything they’ve written)- I always find I’m surrounded by the host of characters in my head/on the page and have never felt lonely writing, even if I spend 30 hours in single weekend alone at my keyboard (yes, has happened. Repeatedly).

    Suspect UXO incidents are dropping in LPDR because people keep stepping on them…


    • I went to look up Advice To Writers and found that I’m already following them. Sigh. I really struggle to keep up with twitter (read: pay attention to it at all). It completely overwhelms me. And I don’t find writing particularly lonely, either. Isolating, maybe. But rarely lonely in the moment.

    • PS, there’s some ridiculously high number of UXO’s still in the ground (like 80 million or something) so I think there are still plenty around to step on.

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