Plants, Horror, and Plant Themed Horrors

There’s a story I’ve been kicking around for the last few months, picking up and dropping nearly as quickly, with long bouts in-between of the piece serving no purpose beyond anchoring my my monthly hard drive defrags.

I’ve made, to myself, half a dozen vows to heavily edit, but this week was the first time I kept any of those promises.

Twenty-nine printed pages, just shy of nine thousand words, and its biggest problem seems to be a lack of detail.  It isn’t so sparse as a lot of my writing, but it has the same issues with clarity and phrasing, things that I’m thankful for the elapsed time in addressing now.  I might not have seen them if I’d still remembered what my intent was when I wrote the sections in question; as it is now, I’ve no idea what I meant.

That un-assuradeness is good.  I hate editing, as I’ve so often said, but not because I despise improving my work, or that I hate reading, but because I feel constrained.  By not knowing what I meant I can’t be wrong in my interpretation.  Rather than having to choose to depart from a completed section, thus to make past plot points and strung phrases surplus to requirement, I have the more enjoyable task of bridging two deemingly unconnected sections.

The point when I can read through edits and the feeling is like spreading stain on wood, or butter on toast, each pass unifying and connecting the veneer until it all seems one cohesive piece, is my favorite working point.  It took marking up that physical copy over the course of monday afternoon to even get far enough along to know how to begin working the piece proper.  I hadn’t realized how much work it needed, no wonder I was so reticent to work on it previously.

“Kalanchoe” (working title) is enough “underway” to be considered “well.”  I may even have it finished in time for Halloween submission rounds.


I’ve been working through the salvaged wood in my basement and my most recent project is a decorative shelf for Mary.

The finished piece will have three tiny shelves set on a decorative backboard, which is in turn raised and mounted onto a beveled piece of plywood by way of a denuded apple branch.

To make the backboard I selected a plank of pallet wood with two shattered ends where it was ripped from its securing nails.  I cut the board in half to create two shorter sections, then turned them so that the frayed ends face opposite directions.  After some light grinding, I glued the two together with a strip of walnut sandwiched between them.

It was at this point I stopped, assured I’d need a block plane to finish the piece.  This notion was in turn halted by the dichotomy of available tools.  On one hand are the decently made tools of first world origins, on the other were the tools of dubious quality.  The price difference isn’t merely noticeable, it’s on orders of magnitude.  I don’t buy things from China, not things I will eat or rely on for great periods of time.  It’s in many ways a wonderful country, the source of a great many of my favorite things, but until it cleans up its issues with human rights violations and fills the sucking void where it’s consumer protections ought to be, I’ll stick to appreciating its culture, food, and martial arts, leaving its products to disuse.

There’s a used tool shop I like to go to, but it is only open on saturday’s.  Fortunately I recalled this before I bought anything online.  Unfortunately, I remembered the shop last saturday, about fifty minutes before it was set to close, while seated with Kalanchoe in hand about twenty minutes of driving and several hours of editing away.  At the time I couldn’t imagine waiting a whole week to get to the next step of the project, but it’s now wedneday and I’ve thus far avoided amazon’s tempting.

Part of that comes from youtube, where I watched a video of a man using a (the world’s sharpest) chisel to do all of the cutting, shaping, and smoothing for several kinds of joints.  I used my own rather less Hitori Honzo-esque chisel and was able to knock down most of the extra walnut.  The palm sander took care of the rest.

Perhaps tonight I’ll get the last few passes done so that I can begin the next phase, that is of finishing the base and shaping the apple branch to fit the base and backboard together.

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