Thursday, October 15, 2009


No school today - it's Fall Break (which once upon a time, I kid you not, was called "The Deer Hunt"). So I slept in until it was almost time for the sun to come up (Seven! Yea!) and looked out the window to find thick, white, heavy fog. The streetlight couldn't even cut a triangle through it. Fuzzy light just hovered like a ball from the lamp and from porch lights. A few minutes later, light from the sunrise tried to clear things up, but not only could I not see the mountains, I couldn't see the house across the street (just the hovering porch light) or the trees next door. I sent Husband off to work with his very favorite words (the ones that start with "be" and end with "ful" and have a "care" in the middle). He told me not to worry, because he has fog lights. Right. So, hurry along, then.

Naturally this put me in mind of writing.* My first drafts are foggy. They're like a mass of unconnected hovering light balls surrounded by the hidden and the unclear. I can barely see the outlying form, the big picture. Somehow I need to bring it all into focus in future drafts. I have to burn through the mist and the murk, sharpening all the story's edges. I need other people, those driving without fog lamps, to show me all the places where it hasn't burnt off.**

And some days, I like the fog, both outside my window and in my stories. It wraps like a blanket, insulating. Today, my kids and I can stay here, protected by the walls of our home. And my story, buffered from all the critical eyes out there, can remain wrapped in its little cocoon until it grows enough to emerge, be tested, strengthen, and take off.

**Yesterday in my talk with Mrs. Hall's 4th grade class, I decided "review group" is a better name than "critique group"


  1. I like this. I hope it's foggy again for you tomorrow!


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