It’s Still Good…

Posted: December 16, 2016 in Life, writing
Tags: ,

I’m notorious among my family and friends for not eating my holiday candy. It doesn’t matter if that stocking is filled with all my favorites, including a Reese’s Tree (best Reese’s ever), I’ll still let it sit. I’m not certain when this habit developed, but it’s possible that I’ve never really had much of a sweet tooth. Growing up the most interesting item in my stocking was usually the Smuckers’ chapstick candy cane. You know, the one where instead of M&Ms piled within a plastic candy cane prison there is instead three tubes of chapstick. I’d bust that sucker open and smell each one in turn, making a game plan for which would be used first and which one would be saved for later.

Perhaps that’s the root of it all: saving things for later.

It’s like inside my head there should be a perfect time and place to eat the candy, that moment when all I want is peanut buttery chocolate goodness. So rather than indulge now, I keep it. Reese’s Trees have been known to exist way past the holiday season in my house. It stays in the stocking until the stockings go away, then, “Oh! I totally forgot I had candy! Let’s just put this on my desk to enjoy later.”

Weeks go by and then months. Before I know it it’s the middle of summer and I still have that Reese’s Tree lying around, accompanied by its little Hershey Kiss friends in their red and green wrappers. What complicates the problem is by this time there may be Easter candy hanging around as well. Who knows? It could be a regular past-their-prime candy party.

Finally, I eat them. I eat them far past their season and they are still delightful, but I can’t help but wonder would they be better if I’d eaten them when they were “fresh”? Does delaying the gratification of eating the sweets really do justice to them? I don’t know. It’s that time of year again and I have St. Nick’s candy in a stocking that I haven’t touched.

My writing, in recent years, isn’t all that different. I’ve been working on a book for the past three years. That’s not a finished draft that I’ve been tweaking until I feel it’s perfect. It’s literally bits and pieces, sweet little exerts that have come along at one time or another, typed up but never completed. I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the perfect time to work on it. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting for my “sweet tooth” to tell me it yearns for the written word.

After three years the story is still good, still captures my imagination, but it’s stale. Like the holiday candy I hoard away, it’s missing something. Missing that thrill of the unknown. There are other shiny new stories beckoning. Fresh ideas. Yet it feels wasteful to set aside what I’ve been working on for so long. So I keep it, waiting for the right time.

I’ve decided it’s time to stop waiting. Stop hoarding. I’m starting my New Year’s Resolution early. I’m going to finish this book in 2017. July 1, 2017 I am handing over a finished manuscript to my friend the Book Gnome, because it’s time I eat my candy.


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