Daily Archives: February 22, 2011

Trunked: manuscripts and hunting dogs

We trunked our hunting dog.  She’s no longer in circulation.  The South Dakota cornfields and Minnesota ditches will be devoid of her presence.  It saddens us greatly to relegate her to the title of pet, as my DH is an avid hunter and she was his first dog.

Her shoulders are shot, she injured her hind leg last year, she’s chubby and out of shape.  Not to mention just plain old.

Novels can be like that.  We write them with love and then sub them long past their prime.  It’s hard to let go sometimes.  They are our babies.

But there is hope.  We can buy new dogs.  Yes, they are untrained and ill-mannered.  They haven’t quite learned how to sit and they love to chew.  They will frustrate us with the energy it takes to keep them in line, yet they will also delight us with the exuberance of youth and their playful ways.

Our geriatric lab is now referred to as Grandma Kallie.  Our new dog is called many things–mostly under my breath as she’s trying to choke down a sock in record time.  Both are loved for what they offer our family.

Experience and hope.  Both are beautiful in their own right and each has a purpose.

Trunked novels are not failures.  They are testaments to our passion.  They represent the journey we took while honing our craft so we can write a new manuscript.  And that’s not to say Grandma Kallie will never take to the ditches again.  She might.  When the conditions are right.

Do you have a trunked novel, or does the thought of placing a beloved manuscript away terrify you?  And how do we know when it’s time to hang up the metaphorical leash?

Inquiring minds want to know.