Monday, November 16, 2009

On works-in-progress

Is there any wonder why a Work in Progress is also known as a WIP?

Because it stings, my pretties. It stings. It flays, it smarts. You think-- this WIP is tearing me to shreds! I can't go on... Help me, help me. This draft is killing me! Yes, you have a regular ol' pity party. That's before you can even think about how you're going to have to whip it good, into shape, shape it up...

A rough, rough chunk of something I've been working stinging WIP:

How were we going to raise these children without a man? Without much at all? We were house poor, I knew that’s what they called us, but I thought of us as home rich. I always will.

We had a big vegetable garden and Azie and I canned and put up food all summer. Some nights when I couldn’t sleep, I stood by your bedrooms listening to your steady breaths, and I tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen. In the pantry, I ran my hands across the shelves of fig preserves and apple butter and stewed tomatoes. Those murky jars were like gold to me, an abundance that would get us through. I’d even go down to the basement some nights, tiptoe over to the deep freezer in the shadowy corner, a box like a coffin, but I would open it, and there was light and life—heaps of frozen corn and string beans, bags of okra and carrots, peas and butter beans. In that way, I kept an inventory of our blessings and I knew we would be all right.

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