Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Nuts and Bolts

While I grumped in Nayna's room this morning just after 6 AM, fixing the bed I had put together just this weekend, I realized the whole process was a lot like writing.

Having put the bed together all by myself, I was pretty proud of the results. Once we got the bed skirt and bright red sheets on, it looked pretty dang cute. Her room was clean, the bed was nice to look at, and I was happy. Everything seemed great.

Until you put weight on it. And then it was, as much as I tried to deny it, wobbly. Very wobbly. "It'll be fine," I thought, having already spent so much time putting the bed together that I didn't want to figure out what was wrong with it.

And then yesterday when Dojo enthusiastically climbed on it, the matress fell off the frame. Annoyed, I did a quick fix, pulling it back up and jamming everything into place. "That should do it," I thought.

Served me right that when I went to collapse on it in the pre-dawn light, hoping my kids would just play and let me doze, it fell apart yet again. This time there was no denying it. While it looked good and had the potential to be a very nice bed, I hadn't spent the time I needed to in making sure that the little pieces--the nuts and bolts--were as tight and well-built as they needed to be. I had to spend my morning moving aside the big parts so that I could tweak and tighten the little ones. It was annoying and I was very grouchy, but now Nayna has a bed that looks good AND holds up under pressure.

I'm sure you've all figured out my point by now: My writing metaphors are very, very boring.

12 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

That's not a boring metaphor at all. I think you've hit on something here. The novel can't work if you just fly through and ignore the little things. Plot isn't everything, no matter how you disguise it with pretty bedsheets.

I'm tightening nuts and bolts as we speak. And smoothing out the bedsheets at the same time. It's quite a process!

Whirlochre said...

I'm not sure I'd want to read a flat pack novel anyhow.

But, metaphors aside — get some seat belts for that bed...

JaneyV said...

I normally let my Hubby put the furniture together. He's good at deciphering instructions, he understands the form and function of anything worth building and he's a maestro at nut and bolt tightening.

Do you think I should let him write my book too?

PS I like your metaphors. They're unique and Kersten-y.

PPS you need to change Nayna's name in the second last paragraph.

Kiersten said...

Glam--it is, isn't it? Fortunately I like editing more than fixing beds.

Whirl--I've got the seatbelts on special order right now.

Janey--Oh, goodness, thanks for that! And no, I don't think hubby should write the books for you. He might be good with fixing things, but he certainly couldn't have your voice ; )

Sara said...

Fabulous metaphor Kiersten! I love it. So, so true.

And there's no point in arguing with the person lying on the floor in the rubble that in your head that bed is both incredibly sturdy and Martha Stewart-worthy.

If it doesn't work it needs to be fixed.

sraasch said...

Definitely not boring. It paints a perfect picture. All too often I'll bypass a mistake that "isn't a big deal," hoping it really isn't that big of a mistake. Later, though, it's always that one thing that makes everyone else go "Eh. No."

It's the little things in life, it really is.

Renee Collins said...

I had to laugh at the image of you collapsing on the bed, desperate for a few extra minutes of sleep, only to have to then fix the collapsed bed. Sheesh, I know that feeling.

the Lola Letters said...

Ha ha! Nice. For most people, I think that acknowledging that the bed is even wobbly in the first place is the hardest step. I heart your blog. I've been away from all blogging for a whole week (gasp) and it's nice to be back to reading all the good stuff that happened whilst I was internet-less in Vegas.

candicekennington said...

And then there's the opposite problem, *clears throat nonchalantly,* focusing so much on the nuts and bolts that you forget the big picture and build yourself a very sturdy bookcase to sleep on...Okay, I'm not even sure that makes sense. LOL!

lotusgirl said...

Marvelous parallels. I've been doing that with my wip. It's been missing some crucial bolts.

Anthony said...

Chicks shouldn't be allowed to use tools. That is the basis of your woes.

Ha ha ha JUST KIDDING people. Sheesh. I ked I ked.

I have to ask the Wife Unit's permission to use power tools, actually.

True story.

patdwhite said...

Well, i guess i know what to get you and Todd for Christmas next year. I will get Todd some oil for their car, and i will get you a cute but functional little tool kit!