Anyway, funny story. To facilitate the moving process, I gave away a couple carloads of stuff at my writers' workshop. Here is one small example:
|Jangle is the fortune-teller. Haromis is the harpist, natch.|
Still, I've moved pretty well out of dragon-flavored fantasy over the past few years. And as I contemplated packing them up and finding a place for them in our new Fortress of Jollitude, I realized I was hanging on to them more out of guilt than anything else.
So in the car they went - along with the digital camera, the DVD box sets, the super-fancy kitchen gizmos, the boxes of books and CDs and all the other wonderful things that had washed up in the lesser-used corners of my life. I parked at workshop, threw open the car doors, and banged the soup pan to tell everybody to go get it while the getting was good. Everything that was still left when the dust settled went to Goodwill. (Don't worry about the dragons, though - they went to my great friend Trayce by special arrangement, and have begun a wonderful new life amidst a truly first-rate extended dragon family.)
Anyway, this endeavor had a pretty consistent refrain throughout. "Tex, you can't give this away!" "Tex, are you sure?" "Tex, what's your damage?" (I'm going to pretend that that last one was about the free stuff.)
Which is kind of funny, coming from a bunch of writers. You know, because we get rid of stuff ALL THE TIME. That god-awful indulgent prologue that's been weighing you down? Axed. That scene that was total genius and now makes your generative organs shrivel in shame every time you look at it? Gone. That one chapter you STILL love but does sweet jack-all to advance the story? See you in the director's cut, buddy.
I still struggle with that part. I can unload a fondue set in thirty seconds, but hitting that Delete key is agony. "Butbutbut my deathless prose!"
Because getting rid of something is such an act of faith, you know? It's saying, "Don't worry; I have enough already." It's saying, "That's all right; there's more where that came from." It's having the self-confidence to believe that your stuff, and your words, are fundamentally renewable resources... and that your one absolute NONrenewable resource - which is to say, your time - is better spent pruning and cultivating the truly great things, rather than meticulously curating everything you've ever owned or written.
And if you've mastered that last part, please tell me your secret.
In the meantime, many thanks to the DFW Writers Workshop and all my e-peeps. You lighten my house, my books, and my soul like you wouldn't believe.
Denouement: Pamela "The Death Writer" Skjolsvik was so delighted with her car goodies that she commissioned a pair of art shoes for me from her super-talented daughter Lola (alias MangaShoes on Etsy!) Say hello to Applejack and Big McIntosh!
So there you have it, folks. Prune bravely, and never fear to declutter, donate, downsize, or delete. Empty space attracts amazing things.
What's the matter, my dear? Don't you like your toys?