Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Limes and stuff

Hi everyone,

This week I've been clearing out a lot of old stuff, or new and useless stuff, or stuff that doesn't work, when it occurred to me that it doesn't seem to ever end. Every week, I'm cramming the bin or recycling boxes fuller and fuller of more STUFF! Where does it all come from? Seriously, I can be on my own all day writing having emptied the trash just the day before - I'll go to chuck something in the bin and it will simply bounce off the mountain of crap in there already and land on the floor, sometimes with a cheeky little roll to my feet as if to taunt me even more.

I looked at all the stuff that comes in packages and linings and papers with 35 page instructions in every language on this earth and thought - I don't actually OWN that many things - really, the things I do own seem to either spread, magically multiply or just come in a gazillion layers of packaging.

The only thing on my shopping list today is one lime. ONE LIME. To make a lime and grated carrot salad for lunch (you must try this with a little fresh coriander, it is a true elixir of life) - now my challenge to myself is to find this one lime and buy it without acquiring any other unwanted stuff to go along with it. I don't want instructions on how to use this lime in Japanese, I don't wan i shrink wrapped in polythene or even in a protective nylon net. I don't even want a miniature brown paper bag. Do you think I can do this?

What on earth has this got to do with being a Spicy Author, I hear you cry? Well, let me tell you - EVERYTHING! I wrote a synopsis for my new novel yesterday and it was a glorious affair, getting all the plot twists, characters and details in - then I looked at the submission guidelines again and it was only supposed to be one page. One page? But, but, my lovely book will sound so drab and surely I need to point out all the relevant details? I must give as much packaging and stuff as I can to get my point and product across.

So I went back to my synopsis, which I thought was already a tight piece of writing and absolutely, ruthlessly and heartlessly cut half of it out. And do you know what? It was better for it. No frills, no details, no instructions or pointers, just the essential facts and plot. It was the lime.
And that was it.

Now,fingers crossed a lime is all the editor wants!

Thanks for reading and have a fab day!

Tabitha x x x x  


  1. Tabitha, I love this post! Been where you were, where cutting even one more word from a synopsis seemed like sacrilege. Next time I'll remember the lime. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Pepper - and I did go to the shop - but the limes were on offer and came away with four and a half price bag of oranges - in nets... gah! x x