Monday, October 09, 2006

Who says squirrels are organized?

The squirrels that enjoy my bird feeder don't seem organized, they just seem greedy. They think nothing of empying an entire feeder in a morning. God knows, I'm probably going to have sunflowers coming up all over my yard any day now. Like those greedy squirrels, I don't like to let my precious words go. So I file them in a very compulsive manner. The truth is I have to be organized with my writing. My life is all about multi-tasking, so I have different storage areas for each task. For my books, I write the entire first draft before I start editing, though I print a hard copy of each day's work. If I add a character or need to substantially rework a scene because of a plot digression, I put a sticky note on my hard copy. That electronic copy is version 1 of the story. When I start the second draft, I rename the electronic file and edit perfusely. I print out that draft when I'm comfortable with the changes and throw away the first paper version. (I keep all the electronic versions.) Lost scenes and cut material from story version 2 get tossed in an electronic file with a name like cutv2. At that point I'm ready for critique. That's when I start the third electronic version of the story. And cuts from that version are stored electronically as cutv3. I hope I haven't bored the socks off of everyone. The important stuff from those cut scenes gets woven into the story fabric elsewhere. Oh, and as for those pesky squirrels, I put a baffle on the bird feeder pole to thwart them. Now the birds get the bird seed, and the squirrels get the plentiful acorns. I can't tell you how happy I was when the squirrels got baffled by the baffle. It made my summer. Until next Monday, Maggie Toussaint

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