Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Battle of the Weevil

So there I am last week, minding my own business, pouring a bowl of cereal in the kitchen, when I see a little black bug crawl across the counter.

Hmmmmm.... definitely suspicious, and a little undesirable, I think, "But hey. No big deal," says I. It IS July. And I DO live in Houston. Bugs are sort of in Vogue right now. And I also figured that one little black bug was NOTHING compared to ants that swarmed my CLEAN basket of laundry the other day, OR the humungo roach I found crawling across the counter in my friend's bathroom (luckily, we live in different apt. complexes).

So.... what? I have one little harmless black bug. No biggy, right? 



After the first little black bug siting, I kept seeing more.... and MORE. They'd be crawling in the cupboard. On the floor. Over the fruit basket. And although I was--admittedly--more worried about an attack from the ant masses congregating in the walls of my apartment, the little black bug issue started to peak my interest. 

Last night, after returning home from a restocking-our-fridge-with-frozen-foods-because-we-have-no-time-to-make-real-food trip at the grocery store, I happened upon one of the little black bugs crawling across the counter. Since Hubbs was there, I says to him: "Hubbs, what kind of bug is this?"

Of course, Hubbs doesn't know that much more about bugs than I do. But he IS the big, tough man of the house, and I figured I could use his manly prowess to help me figure out the source.

We started poking around the kitchen a little bit, trying to find where they were coming from....

And oh boy... we found 'em all right.

Weevils. Congregating en mass. Inside a bag of rice. SO. GROSS.

Because of the discovery of said weevil hidey hole, I spent this morning bleaching the H-E-double you-know-what outta my pasta cupboard. I found more weevils in the lasagna noodles, in the angel hair pasta noodles, and one blasted little guy that had made his way into a box of my Mac n' Cheese. Grrr.

Now THAT's just getting personal.

For a moment I considered killing the guy and saving the Mac. But then I started wondering... what if a lady weevil circulated through my Mac and lain little baby weevil eggs somewhere in my noodles? [sigh]. I threw the whole box away after that point. Dirty rotten....

However, this whole weevil v. Mac n' Cheese battle gave me a good idea for a blog post. Why? You ask. Because it kind of reminded me of editing a manuscript.

Sometimes when battling with a really tough section of manuscript--a section I secretly know I need to just give the ax to--I draaaaaaaag my feet to the chopping block. I'll sit there trying to justify why I should save the section, thinking something along the lines of: "Self, if you just delete this one paragraph, I think you can save the section." This is usually followed by an arduous process of trying to reword the rest of the section to make it kind-of-sort-of work. I work my butt off trying to save my section, all for the sake of my measly word count.

Basically: laziness.

This is a bad habit. One I'm getting better at fixing, but is still a work in progress. I just have to keep reminding myself that a crappy section of the book can be replaced.... by something weevil-less, something that will ultimately make my book better as a whole. Word count isn't everything. In fact, its nothing compared to the overall scheme of things.

Just ax it.

This, is my new motto for crappy weevil-filled sections of my book.

Weevils, Mac n' Cheese and Editing. Yes, I may have been suffering from a bleach high when I wrote this post...


Lacie Myers said...

This post is great with or without the editing part! I've had to do my own weevil eradication in the past, and this analogy works well. You have a fun writing style.

Christa said...

I'm not sure what to say because I am so grossed out by that photo. You poor woman. I love how you turn this into thoughts about your manuscript. Ha!

Julie said...

Lacie: my sympathies go out to you and your evil weevils. Hopefully, they are no more. My fingers are crossed that I've taken care of the problem here!

Christa: Gross everyone out with picture on blog? Check! Bahahaha... your comment made me laugh ( :

Jen said...

I had a weevil problem once that began in a bag of flour. I couldn't make baked good for quite a while after that.

In comparison to cutting a MS I actually like my little weevil's, I want them stick around becasue they are funny or cute, only, they don't progress the story. Darn those things!!

Jess said...

Ewww!! This is so gross (especially the close up pictures)! BUT, I can see your point and I agree with you :)

Julie said...

Jen: I hear ya. I definitely lost my appetite for pasta and rice. And I TOTALLY know what you mean about the random bits of story that don't progress anything. I definitely have some of those mixed in with the crap that needs to be cut!

Jess: Haha! I tried to get Mr. Roach to turn around for the photo, but he was having none of it ( :

Anonymous said...

I wondered what those bugs were called.

I'll never forget how years ago I lived in a roach motel. I had to throw out luggage and other items because roach goo was all over them.

I no longer hesitate to cut things from a manuscript. I highlight and delete. That used to be so hard for me.

Julie said...

Medeia: Eeek! Oh man, that's so bad! Your roach totally beats out my measely little weevils ( :

P.s. I admire your ruthless editing skillz! I'm envious!