Spring Cleanup

killyourdarlingsWarmer sun, wild flowers, birds nesting, …

It only means one thing: spring cleanup.

Sounds too soon? In California, not really.

And for a writer like me, a little messy, a little bit of a pack rat, a little bit afraid of getting rid of any word that might be useful someday, spring cleanup is a must.

Even if I never look forward to it.

First, I decided to tackle the pile of books that sit on my nightstand. It collects dust, and since I’m the one who take care of the dust at home, I figured it would be nice to ease my task.

But facing the twenty books – and the Kindle – was more challenging than I thought.

How can I decide which book will sound perfect by the time I go to bed?

Why did I sign up for three book clubs?

Why are my birthday and Christmas so close to each other?

And why is everyone always so eager to fulfill my book wish list?

In the end, I realized that each and every book that crowd my nightstand matters.

It’s my nightstand, anyway.

Then, I decided to clean my desk.

It is said that a neat workspace helps to sort ideas and to improve productivity.

But taking in the two piles on each side of my computer, I realized that I liked to be surrounded by them. They are like fortifications, which protect a castle.

I like my little castle the way it is.

Finally, I decided to go through the countless manuscripts that take too much of my computer’s precious memory.

When did I find the time to write this?

And why did I ever write that?

Oh, I like that one.

No, I cannot delete this file. You never know.

Um, did I ever submit this? I hope not.

Why is this story still ‘a work in progress’? Will I ever finish it?

I sat in front of my Mac Air, filled to the seams with so many words.

I didn’t like each of them. Oh, no.

I made myself a cup of tea before obeying Mr. Faulkner.

Killing your darlings might be easy.

Killing my darlings was another story.

In the end, it was a sip of tea, a click on the delete key, a sip of tea, a click on the delete key, until murder was committed.

I sat back.

Computer storage capacity: to the max.

Cup of tea: polished to the last drop.

Mood: ?

A little empty, like when I drop someone I love at the airport.

A little afraid, like when I’m alone at home, late at night, and that the walls, floors and ceilings breathe and creak around me.

A little sad, like when I finish a good book and wish I could rewind the clock to turn the first page for the first time.

A little excited, too, like when I enter an unknown, spotless hotel room.

I sighed as I took in what I had done.

And I felt free and light, eager and unencumbered.

In the end, I still kept more darlings than I should have. But you know how it is with clothes and shoes? Fashion comes and goes. You never know.


P.S. I highly recommend spring cleanup on the last day of February. It leaves a month to pack computers with lots and lots of darling words before the official spring cleanup.

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