College students are on spring break this week so I thought in honor of them I would have a little Hoorah! Let’s all go be stupid in Florida post, although it’s probably not as much fun as it sounds. We are definitely not on spring break around here. In fact I’m hoping for exactly the opposite–a normal week with everything on go for a change.

The good non-vacation news is that I’m actually making some progress on draft number 4 (okay, it might actually be 5–shut up) of my still miserably unfinished novel. It’s better. I did a quick read through and cut about 100 pages of extraneous crap (machete-style, great big swinging hacks) bringing the manuscript down to a much more workable 300-ish pages. I’m sure that will swell again (and shrink again, and swell again… good God one day I have to finish the stupid thing) but it’s all for the best.

Yes, definitely. It’s for the best.

Of course, I’m having a little bit of remorse. Some of it was good stuff. There was that whole chapter that I spent months writing… gone. It was such a nice chapter. If only it wasn’t about a character who doesn’t have much to do with anything. She’s great and all, but there are only so many seats on the bus, so to speak. And I know, I know. You have to be willing to get rid of the little “gems.” They don’t work. They have to go. Everyone says so.

Anyway, the other day my daughter was driving me crazy bouncing a super ball around while I was making dinner. I hate cooking (seriously, anything that takes more time and effort than toasting frozen waffles is a huge drag) so having to do it with a super ball careening around my head was not making me happy.

Then, suddenly, no super ball.

Howls ensue. “Mommy! Where’s my ball? It’s gone! It’s gone!”

I assure her that it’s just bounced off somewhere and she’ll have to hunt around and find it. She’s not pleased with my lack of enthusiasm about her plight, but, you know, I’m cooking. I already hate cooking. Don’t bother me.

Then I find the super ball. Suddenly I remember why those beautiful bits of prose you’re so incredibly enamored of have to go.