A bad workman blames his tools, so they say. But then again, if you haven’t got the right tool for the job…
When I moved back to England twelve years ago, my remaining worldly possessions crammed into an international shipping container, I realised I was woefully short of a decent tool set. All that ‘stuff’ got left behind with the ex.
I never thought I would be so keen to buy my first Phillips electric screwdriver, cool black storage case and everything. It came in very handy; who knew that putting together flat-pack furniture could be so therapeutic? Although I’m sure It would have been a different story if I had struggled with a manual screwdriver.
Having the right tool for the job, so to speak, makes for the best possible productivity, providing it’s used correctly: a hammer is great for banging nails into a wall, but not so good if you smash your thumb with it in the process.
I’m left-handed, so trying to use a potato peeler had its limitations when it was my turn for that chore growing up. After a while, I forced myself to use it with my right hand so that by holding it at different angle, it did the job.
At first it felt awkward, but I trained myself so well that now, to this day, I would find it impossible to use a peeler with my left hand, even though I am a total leftie; hands, feet, everything.
At school, it was a challenge to keep from smudging my writing, and I often came home with the entire side of my left hand and wrist covered in splotches of ink.
But, leftie or not, there are some great writing tools to help us along our way, including NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place throughout November. In addition to providing some great links to bloggers who have tips and unique takes on the theme, Charli gives us this for October 28th’s flash fiction prompt:
‘In 99 words (no more, no less) include a tool in a story. How can it enhance the character, tension or meaning? It can also be a story about a tool or a character’s obsession for tools. Go where the prompt leads.’
At a heavy-duty revising juncture of her ‘Rock Creek’ WIP, Charli has invented her own writing toolkit to work with alongside her fellow writers: NaNoReViSo.
So inspired by this, I took up the challenge with her so that I too am using the month of November (and up until the middle of December) to revise, rewrite, cut, paste, chop, hammer, rip, shred, burn (whatever it takes) the first draft of my memoir into something publishable, I hope.
Three hours a day. One hundred twenty thousand plus word count to deconstruct. Unless I deconstruct first.
And I’ve already discovered what you who’ve gone before me already know so well, that while the first draft may be a wild animal, running free across the pages, never caring where it might roam, trying to tame the beast and rein it in through revision is another thing altogether.
Speaking of untamable beasts, I wonder what Fred is up to? Will Ethel be able to tell her clueless, hairy husband the truth about his little problem, or does she have other ideas? Let’s find out in the next 99 word flash fiction installment:
To Trap A Werewolf
Full moon rising, but Ethel had a plan.
“Rabbit pie tonight Luv?” Fred yawned, scratching at his chest
“No, it ain’t…come with me …”
Fred gawped at the large cage in the garage.
“What that’s for then?”
“That beast thingy, wot everyone’s muttering on about, I built it, to catch ‘im, get the reward like.”
“Gawd, I left the toolbox inside, get it for me will yer?”
Fred poked his fangs, ripped his clothes off and bolted.
“Oi, get back ‘ere or I’ll ‘ave yer guts fer garters!” screeched Ethel, with only a distant howl in reply.
Wishing everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo and other projects the very best.
As Charli will be the first to tell us: ‘We’ve got this!’