Growing up wasn't easy in my house. Sometimes it was an adventure (like the time we went to Niagara Falls), but most times, it usually left scarring memories that would some day equate to yet another, more detailed, memoir. Or hours in therapy. Whichever.
One such instance took place at the Shepherd House. This is the only place I've ever truly called home, and we lived there from the time I was in kindergarten until the early parts of my eighth grade year. With that being said, I can't remember how old I was, I just know it had to have been before I was 14.
My mom had been gone a lot (staying at her boyfriend's house an hour away). Once, late at night, she burst into the house, frantic, throwing newspapers down on the kitchen table (where we ate dinner, mind you). Soon, she carried something grey and lifeless in, and laid it on the table.
"Oh God, oh shit!" she chanted. "Come on bunny!"
"Mom, what happened?" I asked, looking at the fluffy adorable thing sprawled sideways on the table.
|Not a bunny.|
But we do have a fascination with
dead things now...
The CPR went on for a few minutes until she dug a mirror out of her purse and held it to the bunny's pale pink nose to test if it was breathing. It wasn't.
Standing at the threshold of the kitchen and living room, I adjusted my position, and saw the underside of the bunny's face. It was streaked red, from its eye downward. Clearly it wouldn't be hopping off the table any time soon.
"Mom," I said, tears threatening to spill out at any second. "It's dead."
I pointed to the blood. "Look."
She flipped the bunny over and pools of blood were left on the newspaper. "Shit." At last she broke down and began crying. "I'm sorry, bunny."
I began to cry, too. The side of the face that wasn't leaking maroon was furry and adorable, and it was here, on my kitchen table, dead at my mother's hands. My sisters and I buried the bunny and the bird together in the animal graveyard to the right of the house.
So, what does this mean for writing?
Well, there's a point in a story or novel, where you just keep trying to give CPR to the dead lifeless sentence, chapter, whatever. You keep trying to breathe life into something that refuses to live. When that happens, you may need to adjust your perspective, it may already be dead and maybe, MAYBE you should bury it. If it's dead, let it die valiantly. (Though save a backup, you know, in case you can fit it in a future work.)
(I just hit 19,000 words with my WIP....In 11,000 I'll have to decide whether or not this novel, like that bunny, is already dead.)