Yesterday my sons came down to my office and asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I immediately said, "Band-Aids."
They frowned and asked why.
I turned around in my chair, taking a long look at my normally neat office. Every piece of furniture and every corner of the carpet is covered with chapter printouts. Every printout has something weighing it down in case my cats decide to have a wrestling match in the middle of the night. Every paper weight has a few post-it notes slapped underneath it. Every chapter needs...something. More dialogue here. Less description there. The need to crank up dramatic tension. The desire to ensure less is more in every scene.
If you're a writer, this never really ends, the quest for perfection in your story - no matter what draft you're working on. When you read your work, raising the bar as high as you can, you inevitably see the need for Band-Aids everywhere. It's just part of what we do, but when I tried to explain this to my boys, I got blank stares followed by polite nods.
This morning, though, I found two boxes on the kitchen table wrapped in tissue. One said These are strong. Use on bad days. The other said, These are xtra strong. Save for big riting problims. The first package was a box of cloth Band-Aids. The second was a package of neon orange SpongeBob Band-Aids.
A writer couldn't be better equipped.
A mom couldn't ask for two nicer birthday gifts.
P.S. The birthday card they bought for me said, In dog years, you'd be dead. Sensitive little guys, huh?