When I was a writing teacher, I gained so much from hearing and reading Lucy Calkins’ lessons. One of the first things I learned was that real editing occurs by taking a good piece of writing and making it even better.
Hmmm… I had always thought editing was polishing up something not-so-good. But it is tough to insert or whittle away to change something with which you are already satisfied.
But that’s how it goes.
So here is a piece I wrote during March that I thought worked well. Now, after editing, I hope it is even better.
The county in which I live is a fast growing, formerly rural area – a contrast of old and new everywhere we turn. I drove throughout this beautiful landscape today and marveled at the variety here:
- hills and hollows that twist and flow into each other
- wooded hillsides leaf-deep with rocky outcroppings, falling down to a creek, or a field, or even right up to the road
- wide fields sliced by fence paths reflecting their upkeep through the years
- creeks that twist and turn and parallel the road until they slip under and out the other side
- the chameleon River that appears where you least expect it, reflecting green or brown depending on the water’s depth or the bank’s height or the flow’s speed
- ponds with sparkling fountains proclaiming – fresh cool clear water found here
- curvy potholed country lanes following fencerows and property lines, sheltered by the canopies of old growth trees
- square plotted lines through former farms, bringing civilization to yesterday’s middle-of-nowheres
- more and more lanes for more and more residents to make their ways to and from work daily
- antebellum jewels with columns and porches that shimmer in the light of preservation, or droop in the shadows of neglect
- grand new construction, at times overlooking shacks with asphalt shingle siding, peeling paint, crumbling foundations
- a Disneyland of perfect cottages surrounded by meandering sidewalks and luscious landscapes
- weathered wood structures held up by the trees grown up around them, or perhaps by the vein of sheer determination found in the hardwoods chosen years back for their construction
- stair step sized in barn-red color, white tin roofs and sliding metal doors
- arts and crafts style with exposed beams and stacked stone walls
I thank God for this area I love, for this place I call home.