They Wouldn’t Know Beans If The Bag Was Open


July 2-3, 3017

Recently, Superhero and I visited with a friend and the title of this post comes from that conversation. After a laugh at one of those sayings that just made sense, but that I had never heard, the conversation turned to other things. However, like most writers the words lingered, churned, and spread through my thoughts. The saying still danced in my mind as I sat down to write this post, and beans became Chinese tea leaves and Chinese tea leaves reminded me I had made a new cup I could use, and my new cup . . . well you get the idea.

I sometimes feel I don’t know beans about writing. You know—that feeling that you don’t know anymore today than you did years ago when you first started and will you ever learn how to do this well? However, I submitted a rewrite of a couple chapters to my critique partner and felt I had addressed some of the constructive criticism about problems, such as leaving parts of the story in my head rather than on the page. I also learned a technical skill that created new liberty for me in my writing form (scene breaks are my new best friend). Overall, it felt like a step in the right direction. My critique partner confirmed that and I am pressing on with continued changes in the manuscript. It is slow moving with other obligations, but I’m committed to writing everyday, even if it is just a little bit.

In addition, new experiences with project-N led to modifications that have me killing my darlings in a completely different venue. Yet, there is a lot of similarity – both are like sky diving – you start with that broad view at 13,000 feet, enjoy about sixty seconds of sheer adrenaline rush at the start as you free fall, then settle in under canopy and do the hard work of adjusting as the details get closer and the landing site becomes clear.

On that note, one project reached landing. Some pottery pieces I made for Superhero, our Golden Egg, and myself came out of the Kiln recently. I can’t show their pieces till after they see them (shhh), but here is a picture of the oil lamp I made for my writing desk.


It has a smaller hole inside the top ring for the wick. It’s my reminder to shine where I am. I shared recently with Superhero, while on our way to the movie theater to see Wonder Woman, the impact of this positive role model when I was a child. Granted it was an impact that led to things like me chasing the neighborhood bully out of my yard when he called my babysitter fat and more than a few attempts to defy gravity, but I survived. I’m only beginning to realize how the different lights along my path formed and continue to form what I believe.

So, even if your lamp holds only enough oil for hope, and the wick seems too short to burn long, remember the ability of even the smallest flame to dispel darkness. It can even shed enough light to know beans when the bag is open—that is—if you know beans (laugh).