EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm letting my friend and fellow writer Rebecca Forster do some guest blogs now and then, and here she is with her first. You can look her up, and learn about her amazing books, at www.rebeccaforster.com.
by Rebecca Forster
“I saw Halloween candy at Costco,” I said.
“It’s September,” my husband responded.
“Doesn’t matter. I bought a bag. I ate it. I’ll get more before Halloween,” I say.
Halloween is still a couple of weeks away and yes more bags of candy have disappeared on my watch. Still, there is evidence that those bags existed. Sad little mini bars of dark chocolate are stuffed into a bag in the recesses of my candy closet. They are there because I hate waste almost as much as I hate dark chocolate. I am as ashamed of my overindulgence of Crackle Bars, Three Musketeers and the ever so delicious Mini-Peanut Butter Cups as I am of my rejection of the bitter dark chocolate. Actually, I am probably more ashamed of the latter because I know that I will shamelessly pawn the dark chocolate off on some unsuspecting trick-or-treater.
The poor kid will dump the bag, sift through the booty and come upon my rejects. I imagine the child crying at worst. At best, those little bitty dark chocolates will be ignored or passed over pawned off on a younger kid. Yet, as I torture myself with the idea of ruining a tyke’s Halloween, I have another thought. Hershey wouldn’t make the darn things if there weren’t a whole lot of people out there who love ‘em, would they?
Which brings me to the files on my computer mark New Ideas, Synopsis and Inspiration. In these files are a plethora of Word documents in various stages of crafting: a sentence to remind me of some fleeting idea, full-blown treatments, chapter openings. These folders scare me the same way I fear a group of raging, candy-starved, monstrous teenagers appearing at my door on Halloween. I fear the folders because they represent thinking that went nowhere, ideas that weren’t worth nurturing much less publishing. Here, hidden away, is the dark chocolate of my imagination. The good stuff isn’t there.
Or is it?
Could be I need to take a second look at the ‘dark chocolate ideas’ I have squirreled away on my computer. There might be a character worthy of tweaking, a plot that could be deepened, a story that should be softened. Dress it up, a little lipstick on the pig, change the lighting, rummage around, grab something and come up for air.
Yep, there it is. A little linty, perhaps. The wrapper fallen off. A bit crumbly and stale.
Still, in my bag of rejects, I find that time and taste has turned at least one of my personal rejects into the glimmery, glinty beginnings of a good idea. If I try again, nibble around the edges of it, I come to the conclusion that it might be pretty good after all. In fact, it might even be worth savoring. And, if I keep my eyes open, if I analyze the market, read about the business and listen hard I just might discover that there’s an editor or reader out there who has a passion for the dark chocolate of my imagination.
It’s a sweet thought, isn’t it?