This morning, I got up early to walk the beach with Winston. We came upon the perfect log to add to my border garden (I’m trying to create a buffer between the wild and the planted). Of course, I had to find it a ways down the beach but I cannot let a good log go by. I lugged it back, and up the 25 steps from the beach, and over to the garden. By then, I was EXHAUSTED so I simply dropped the log about where I wanted it.
One point to mention here: my little border garden butts up against a bank. A steep bank. It does not take much imagination to conjure up what happened next. My precious log went rolling merrily back toward the beach below, finally stopped by a sturdy Nootka rose.
I clambered down the dew slick bank (taking a hard fall along the way) and, using the log as sort of a fulcrum/walking stick, got both myself and it back up to the top.
As I cleaned up from said (mis)adventure, it occurred to me that I have done this kind of thing in my writing, too. I pick up something that seems perfect, overlooking the fact that it may be hard to manage and won’t want to stay put. Being more purposeful and less impulsive is something I’ve been working on lately. Rather than spontaneously plopping something into a story, I’m trying to plan ahead for good fits. And, at least for me, for now, it seems a good discipline.
That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to keep my eyes peeled for the perfect log or perfect and unexpected story element. I’m just going to think first before I lug something down the beach and up the stairs!