Spring Cleaning

Saturday, May 07, 2016
It doesn't feel like Spring. My sandals are still trapped in their shoeboxes while I wear my decidedly "winter" shoes. The trees are just beginning to tentatively produce tiny green leaves. Lemonade is not

taking up space in my refrigerator. But you've got to take a stand sometime and I've declared today
Spring Cleaning Day.

I don't throw away ideas, drafts, manuscripts. I have a friend who, in a frustrated rage, threw away a half-finished manuscript and still regrets it. But after a while what started out as valuable ideas is just a big pile of paper and a bunch of file names. So once a year I go through all the papers in my file cabinet and the box under the bed. Then I sort through the sometimes mysteriously named files in my computer -- one was just named "Later".

Not to trash things, but to remember. Often I find things that were put away, half-forgotten, that I want to work on again. Or ideas that after the passage of time seem less like wisps of an idea and more like the beginnings of a story. Connecting with new editors and magazines makes me consider things that I had abandoned.

Not only that but it feels good to have all those papers spread out across the living room floor. Then all those computer files revealed that were hidden behind my catch-all desktop icon "Ideas". Especially if I'm having a dry spell, it reminds me of just how many ideas I have. I should have Spring Cleaning more often -- and that's something I never say about cleaning out the closets!


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