Sometimes I feel a lot like a chipmunk.
No physical resemblance, of course – I’m nowhere near that cute. But while photographing the chipmunks in our yard (great way to avoid writing), I’ve noticed some behavioral similarities.
We both spend much of our time cut off from the rest of the world, emerging periodically to blink at the sun and remind ourselves that there is an existence beyond our burrows. While the life’s work of a chipmunk is foraging for food to stock its larder and mine is foraging for words and thoughts to fill my books, we take much the same approach.
We both have to be selective. We can’t grab whatever happens to come along. We must examine all possibilities and choose something that will be worth our effort, something that will last. We’re both perfectionists.
Watching a chipmunk figure out what to do with a peanut I’ve offered him brings a jolt of self-recognition that makes me smile and groan at the same time. My “peanut” may be a sentence, a paragraph, a bit of backstory, a description, but the same trial-and-error method applies.
It has to go in here somewhere, but where will it fit best?
Ah ha. Right here.
Or maybe not...
I’ll see if it works better over here.
Nope. Back to the first spot. But does it really feel right there?
Oh, heck. It’s time to move on!
For the chipmunk, there’s always another peanut. For me, there’s always another rewrite.
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