Well it has taken four weeks but I am finally finished with cutting! A month ago my story topped the scales at 100,450 words filling up 351 pages of text. Now after my heartless pruning it stands at 92,054 words and a mere 323 pages in length. Whooohoooo!!! I was really hoping to get it under 90,000 words but I am pretty happy with the story as it is. The cutting did improve the pace and flow of it. I wasn’t sure that I would end up with a better product when I began this process, but now that it is over, I think that the whole thing is much improved. Next week I shall attempt to fix my vague historical references. Hopefully this does not mean adding another 10,000 words.
In the tradition of cheesy 80s rock music commonly played at cheesy H.S. sporting victories, I would like to announce that indeed I am the champion of… Dum Dum dum duuuuum… The evil, rancid, curdled, milk stain that has infested our lives and living room for over a week! Yes indeed, son #2 (2 ½ ) dumped two full mugs of whole milk into our already much abused living room carpet. I sopped it up and sprayed it liberally with a previously successful mixture of vinegar and water and hoped that all was well. All was not well. Our house smelled like a lost lunchbox thermos found full of milk underneath the seat of your grandma’s Cadillac that had been parked in some un-shaded location for a month. Not joking, it was wretched in every sense of the word. Well then I spend over thirty minutes scrubbing the spot with sloshing bowl fulls of water and vinegar and a good hearty scrub brush, but to no avail. Then the hunky hubby steam cleaned it. No luck. Then I poured bowl after bowl of water on it and quickly steam cleaned up the liquid before it could soak into our floor and through the neighbor’s ceiling (I hope). Not helpful. So I did it again. Negatory. So I got some heavy duty steam cleaning soap and used the whole tank to clean about a four foot spot of carpet. No success. Finally the hunky hubby came home with a large tub of deep cleaning dust. You spray your spot, or rancid wasteland in our case, with a preparatory spray and then scatter this white dust all over the aforementioned spot. Then you smooth it with a broom let it sit 30 minutes and vacuum. I followed the directions above but in my desperation to be rid of every hint of curdled milk I put way way too much dust into the carpet. I think I filled our vacuum tank thing four times with powder and it still wasn’t totally out, but I had to go to bed as it had gotten quite late. Finally a few days later I vacuumed the spot again for a long long long time and I am pleased to report that when that last layer of white dust was removed our home was finally rendered milk free, except our fridge of course. And as I mentioned earlier, I AM THE CHAMPION of the evil, rancid, curdled, living room milk stain. And who would need the world when they have accomplished that?
Parent Moment of the Week
Late in the middle of the night our 2 ½ year old boy awoke screaming. Now this is a fairly common occurrence. It happens at least twice a night for him. Sleepwalking and vivid nightmares run in my gene pool. So I grab him up and take him to bed with the hunky hubby and myself. Usually he settles right down, content with sleeping sideways across our pillows and pushing his daddy toward the edge until the hunky hubby is resting his head on his nightstand instead of his neck supporting pillow. But not so on this fateful night. He would settle down for a moment and then awaken again, screaming and writhing and clutching his stomach. After about three times of this I was beginning to think about rushing him to the emergency room. Visions of burst appendixes had begun to dance in my head. But then my desperate little boy was able to quell his wails long enough to communicate. He needed… A banana? In true parent mode I toted him out to the couch, got a banana out of our hanging fruit basket thingybob, handed it to my suffering little angel and… He snorked it down in record time, crawled back into bed, and slept the rest of the night through. Fifteen minutes of screaming and writhing and all of this horror was thwarted by a bright yellow Chiquita banana. Apparently he was quite hungry indeed.