How My Jeans Are a Holy Commitment

Personal Notes: I won't tell my husband I'm wearing his Gamer shirt if you won't. And I promise not to spill coffee on it.

So, Sunday morning my husband and I are getting ready for church, and usually that means some sort of skirt/dress or nice pants for me, but that morning I'm digging through my closet for a pair of jeans and a comfy sweater. The following conversation occurs:

Me: In case you're wondering, yes, I'm wearing these to church.
N.: Okay . . .
Me: I've got children's church today. God and I have an understanding. I'll cram as much of His love into those little heads as I can, as long as I can do it from the comfort of my Levi's.
N.: Well, in the Bible it says something about preparing yourself to be in the presence of the Lord* . . . "
Me: Well, I might have to chase them . . .
N.[laughing]: Ah, hence the jeans.
Me: Exactly.

This got me thinking about how much I love my jeans, and how I will wear them until they are D-E-A-D, dead, because I love them so much. I'm like that with lots of stuff I love. In college I actually put together a 4by6 FOOT poster board type thing and collaged the Hades out of it with things to represent all the things I loved. And then I threw a big party and ambushed all my closest friends at the door, insisting they go through their purses and wallets, and pick something to add to the collage. I wrote to out-of-state friends and had them mail stuff. I kept the thing through three moves and for six years. After that it had disintegrated beyond moving again. And you know what? I MISS IT. I miss that big poster collage of the things and people I love (in fact, maybe I need to make a new one. Be on the lookout for--fairly flat--stuff to send me, if I do, because I love you people, too, and I'd want you in on it).

When writing, I'm just as much of a pack rat. I write way too much in my first drafts. With Silver the first draft was more than TWICE the word count** of the final product. Even last week I shaved another 5K off the manuscript, a large part of it a scene--some of you know it as the 'temptation circus' scene--I have always loved, but it had to go. It was a speed bump, and great as it was it just didn't belong anywhere in that book. I couldn't fit it anywhere, which royally bit, as far as I was concerned.

But I didn't delete it, which is where the moral comes into this whole thing. The scene was like my jeans; perfectly broken in, comfortable, made me smile. I couldn't just trash it, even though there was a huge grin-like rip under the right rear pocket, which invariably showed off my Grumpy Bear Underoos. Even though I'd gotten paint on the thighs, and the hems had kind of shrunk a little. I couldn't get rid of it. I loved it too much. Even after I finally surrendered to the truth of it never fitting in that book, I gently copied-and-pasted it into an 'outtakes' file. You know, just in case.

And lo and behold, what happened when I let go? The scene--albeit, divided into two parts like a pair of cut-offs--settled into the places where it belonged as if it always had, in the second Dionadir novel, Golden.

So here's this. Don't mourn the scenes you love but have to cut. It may just be a case of reincarnation. Make them a nice electronic coffin and wait to see what happens.

In other news, look at the new pretty thing I'm a part of! Especially if the words "young adult" feature prominently anywhere in your life.

*And now no one can figure out what the Hades he was referencing, not even my amazing pastor/dad-in-law. *laughs*

**Because when you're ready to get serious, agents/editors are interested in knowing your word count, not page count. Page counts are relative, depending on formatting, whereas word count in concrete. Just a little FYI for my young ladies.


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