June 13, 2012

Books aren't Babies

It always makes me stop when someone call a book they've written their "baby."   Books aren't babies. One is a string of symbols that creates meaning in our minds.  The other is a human being.  I read one such article recently, and instead of rambling at my poor husband, I made a list.  I decided to post it here, because I thought my readers might get some amusement out of it.

So, to clarify...

1. Hugs and kisses have never made my manuscript all better.

2.Manuscripts should be edited ruthlessly, their every fault exposed under a red pen.  I try to encourage my children not to color on themselves -- in red, or any other color.  Also, we say "I love you" a lot more than "You're dangling a participle!"

3. There's nothing in a manuscript that I didn't type.  I'm still not sure where the kids came up with the idea of having an imaginary pet purple zombie dog.

4. Manuscripts can be polished over and over and over.  You only get to raise any given kid once.

5. If a problem with a manuscript is keeping me up past my bedtime, I can turn the monitor off, enjoy a shower, and retire for the evening.  If a problem with a child -- say vomiting -- is keeping me up, there is no off button.  I will also smell considerably worse.

6. Manuscripts only work as an alarm clock if someone drops a printed version on your head. Babies are naturals at it.  The older model, toddler, comes armed with hugs and demands for apple juice.

7. I can throw a frustrating manuscript in a drawer and ignore it for months or years.

8. Manuscripts don't poop and then giggle about it.

9. Manuscripts don't say "love you mommy", either.

10. Manuscripts can be completed, finished.  I'm all grown up, but my mommy still watches out for me.