. . . . . . . In editing your book or other work of fiction, you have to be brutal with the red pen. Bring on the carets! (^) <– these things
. . . . . . . You can call the things you edit your babies or your sweethearts.
. . . . . . . Stephen King wrote the kill your darlings expression. I like his because I think of writing as more of an affair with a gorgeous blonde than as an act of infanticide. The book talks back to you and acts all sassy and you slap it into place. Then, boom, the love affair is over and you wonder how much more she thinks of you than you think of her.
“One can find women who have never had one love affair, but it is rare indeed to find any who have had only one.” — Francois de la Rochefoucauld
. . . . . . . But there’s a better way to think of it, still. Think of your unedited, but finished, work as a block of ice that’s in the horrible process of melting in the slow heat.
. . . . . . . Stephen King also wrote that a book is most vulnerable in the intro stages and too much handling might kill it. But I say that when finished it’s also vulnerable. Too much time that passes separates you from the original motivations for writing the work and the well-defined images that you carried with you throughout the production of said material.
. . . . . . . Ice. Melting.
. . . . . . . Melting.
. . . . . . . *steepling one’s fingers* It’s a serious act, the creation of a book. This novel, this … thing you’ve bled out onto the pages — it has taken a measure of your life-force and imbued it as printer’s dots. There’s no avoiding the slight paper cuts. You don’t want to minimize them, either. You want to embrace the occasional pain and embarrassment.
. . . . . . . Your world of poetry is not narrowing, it is opening up, with the progression of age and the advance of wisdom. Wisdom, hard-won, unchallenged, dwells in your eyes as you look upon your surroundings. Now is the time to pluck meaning out of dross, emeralds out of cubic zircona piles.
. . . . . . . I get embarrassed over here at the Cradle. I’m embarrassed I’m not stronger. Less than a month ago a fist came out of the darkness and knocked me to the ground. I picked up my glasses and continued on without a comment. If only. If only I had the option of fighting back.
. . . . . . . I live a life of so-limited options. I can take the pain; more than the embarrassment, pain is a regular part of life. Embarrassment is fairly rare; that’s part of what makes it hurt more than the other negative aspects of a life well-lived.
. . . . . . . Actually, that’s not exactly true. I’ve approached life from a single angle only. I’ve been a studious, Rabbinical-style  monk for far too long. It grates me that I cannot live life in more primal, basic, pleasure-first ways.
 I am not Jewish, but rather 100% European from the South-Central reaches.
. . . . . . . Oh well. At least I can fly in this virtual world of the mind like Neo in the later Matrix movies. At least I can imagine I’m Superman like the DC comics movie where he faces down four of his co-heroes. But why must I always be alone? Is this poisoning my writing? Is my angst at the past and the future lining up ten-pins I can’t knock down?
. . . . . . . Just how good a writer do I have to me before I can pass the Gate-Keepers of New York, who bar everyone but the best? Those damn literary agents. Of all the mismatched people to adjudge the contents of good new work.
. . . . . . . Back to editing.
. . . . . . . The sheer force of the creative process is enough to knock us backwards. While you’re spinning around your ergonomic chair, give due consideration to the financial merits of this piece of work you’ve created.
. . . . . . . You owe it to yourself to write the most saleable piece of work you can. You can skulk to the hills of literature once you’ve plumbed the swamps of popular entertainment. Don’t drain those swamps, baby! Leave that job for Donald Trump in another avenue of life, a lesser world. Play with double handfuls of swamp-grass! Get wet as a guy with a plunger!
*dryly all of a sudden* So you can take a shower, I mean.
. . . . . . . I am taken aback by visions of all the books I could inspire if my voice just had a wider reach.
. . . . . . . You know, the problem with being a success would be my Comments section would get overflowed and I would have to start labelling Comments NLK (Nullified Lame Komment.) And edit it out of existence.
. . . . . . . *poof!*
. . . . . . . For now, I have a handful of close contributors to the Cradle. They’ve been loyal to the Catxman. It’s funny how different they all are. How they each have their own voice. Male or female, black or white, these contributors add a rainbow of meaning to the Cradle.
. . . . . . . *raising a wine glass*
. . . . . . . This entry started out as a brief treatise on the editing process and turning into a salute to those who make the Cradle possible — Commenters, without whom this place would be dead as a stone temple in the Far Egyptian Desert.
. . . . . . . *drinking heartily* Prosit, my fellows.