Thursday, June 18, 2009

Polished to a Sheen

Just before I awoke this morning, I had a short dream. In the dream I hurriedly skimmed a dust mop across a vinyl-covered kitchen floor before I put it away. "There. It's done." (At least I thought so.) I could not see the face of the person behind me, but a long, extended arm and finger pointed to a dirty spot in one corner. This finger seemed to represent an authority figure.

I pulled out a brush, dipped it in water, and scrubbed at the grime. The brush lifted the soil, but left a dingy place. I remembered the pointing finger and knew I could not leave the floor in this condition.

I searched underneath the sink until I found a spray bottle filled with a super cleaner that promised to leave a high gloss. I sprayed the cleaner on the sponge, rubbed on the dull spot, then stepped back to assess my work.

The surface glowed back at me. My extra effort had paid off after all.

I believe this dream symbolizes the writing process.

The dust mop stands for the short time it takes to skim over a manuscript and find the obvious errors--misspelled words, missing puncutation.

The scrub brush removes the grime. It represents the extra effort to remove excess adverbs and gerunds. Oh, those dreaded words that end in "ly" and "ing"!

Then we bring out the soft sponge and special cleaner to add the finishing touches. The sponge absorbs the passive voice while the cleaner releases the glowing beauty and graceful flow of our words.

The end result? One polished manuscript ready for submission. If we apply all these procedures step by step, God wil bless our efforts.

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving kindness, O Lord endure for ever; forsake not the works of Your own hands." Psalm 138:8

"Without The Author, the Quill Runs Dry."

20 comments:

ashleyludwig said...

Laurean! only you can tie together mopping and cleaning up a manuscript!

Truth, once you learn the rules, you know how to clean - and hopefully future drafts will be sparkling.

Great post!

Ash

Miss Mae said...

Oh dear, I'm guilty of those gerunds and I don't get out every "ly" word either!

Amazing at the dreams you have, Laurie. Do you know it seems I can no longer remember my dreams? I hate that, because I used to enjoy my dreams so much...unless I dreamed of a coming tornado! Then I was sooo relieved to wake up! LOL

Laurean Brooks said...

Ashley, I knew you'd see the comparison. God seems to show me things in dreams. I have to pen them quickly or I forget them.

Could it be that he is actually saying, "Go mop that floor!"? LOL

Hugs!
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Miss Mae,

I don't dream as much as I use to either, because I don't sleep as deeply (ly word, oops!)

It's the ones I get just before arising (ing word, oh shoot!)that seem to hold a special significance.

I've had the tornado dreams, too. Scary. But my most repetitive one over the years was being lost, in a strange place, and couldn't find my way home. I walked and walked, came to a fork in the road and chose one. Every time it was the wrong fork. It took me farther away from home. In the end I always got there, just took the long way around.

I haven't had it recently. I asked God to to take it from me and help me find my way. I guess he has honored it.

Susan Yates said...

I love this analogy, Laurean. Too few authors take the time to polish a manuscript and it makes all the difference!

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Laurie: I'm afraid I'm stuck between the mop and spray bottle. I don't allow my spray bottle to do the job. Maybe that's why I got another rejection today. Hey, I left a review for JOurney on Amazon and White Rose both. They are identical. Larry

Laurean Brooks said...

Susan,

Your comment makes me wonder. Are you a disgruntled editor? Ha!

I got your point. But I am ssooooo guilty. Guess I'd better get out that sponge and spray bottle. LOL.

Laurean Brooks said...

Larry,

I laughed out loud when I read you comment. You might want to try writing comedy. But I got your meaning loud and clear.

Thanks for the reviews. I'll check them out. Your blog post on YOU GOTTA READ is food for thought. It was great.

Rachel Rossano said...

Those are some great insights I am going to put into practice. :)

Thanks,

Rachel

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Laurie. Oh my leve it to you and your dreams! But let's hope it holds true. Not only did I polish the floors and my Cape Cod burgundy wine glasses today, but I submitted my polished MS to my Crimson editor. I love your dreams--very insightful. Nowe go to it, girlfriend-- make it shine!
Hugs,
Sharon

Sharon Donovan
www.sharonadonovan.com

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Great post, Laurie!

Never thought of cleaning up a manuscript in correlation to cleaning up a house.

Donna B said...

Well that will certainly give me a different perspective the next time I clean my kitchen floor...lol...and maybe with the next manuscript too. But how do you keep the ink from running with the cleaner on it? :-) I know, the marvels of the computer era!

Laurean Brooks said...

Sharon, you were one busy lady. Thanks for taking time away from polishing to pay me a visit.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Pam,

I've never thought of it that way before, either. And as much as I dislike housework, you know that dream had to be from God. Or was He just telling me to clean my kitchen floor.

Well, I did. I gave it a very thorough cleaning this afternoon.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Donna,

Only a Squiched Pee Princess could have thought of that question. Try to keep the ink and the spray bottle separated...I guess.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Rachel,

I would have never thought of it either without that dream. It was like this finger was pointing to the spot and saying, "Don't stop until it's glowing." LOL

Hugs,
Laurie

Celia Yeary said...

Laurean-I had to check out your blog--how could I pass up a comparison between a dirty floor and a manuscript? Very good analogy, and I shall remember it.And welcome to The Wild Rose Press--I have one release and two more with release dates waiting in the wings. Celia Yeary

Laurean Brooks said...

Thanks, Celia. I'm not moving as fast since I'm working on another full length. Sometimes it feels as if I'm getting nowhere. Had to cut down on my loop time to WRITE.

I'm on dial-up so it can be a pain.

Glad you liked the kitchen floor/manuscript analogy.

God bless you in all your endeavors.

Cami Checketts said...

Love the analogy. It is such a hard but worthwhile process. Sometimes I love cleaning those floors but other times I just want it to be over with!

Laurean Brooks said...

Cami,

Same here, especially if I have something more enjoyable planned. And what isn't? LOL

Thanks for dropping by.