“In writing, you must kill all of your darlings”, as near as anyone can tell this was first said by Arthur Quiller- Couch in 1914 during his lectures “On Style”. ‘Killing your darlings’ is a piece of advice that has turned into mantra among writers. The quote is most often credited to William Faulkner but it has been repeated by many substantial authors including Oscar Wilde and Stephen King who said “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill you darlings.”
It means that as a writer you must edit out all words, sentences, phrases, paragraphs and thoughts that do not propel the story forward. It does not matter how beautiful the darlings might be or how hard you worked on them or even how much you love them. They must die.
‘Kill your darlings’? Yeah, well what if I don’t want to? I love my ‘darlings’ and I like it when they run around, all chaotic, stinkin' up the place. I am like one of those crazy cat women who loves loves loves her little furry friends (but with words). This is the section that you can let your darlings roam free for others to pet and appreciate them. YES, I know!!!…if you don’t like it…shhhh. Just pet the pretty kitties!
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True Turkey Love
Once upon a time, plucked from a clutch of gallinaceous gobblers, two love birds were adopted by a Rancher. They were brought to reside, in their matrimonial bliss, with hopes of prolifically producing a progeny of poults that would fulfill future feasts. Thunder, in his magnificent splendor, adored his wife Lightning.
The way they “loved” each other was “frightening”.
No really, turkey sex is loud and unsightly. It involves guttural gobbling, flying feathers, and non-Kama Sutra referenced positions that includes claws, pecking and a variation on a “leap-frog” dismount. Furthermore, when NOT engaged tumultuous turkey titillations they frolicked and cuddled, danced and dined, and never left each other’s side. It was True Turkey Love. Until...
One day the couple escaped for a romantic adventure. They spent their day gorging on grasshoppers, masticating moths and enjoying their stolen freedom. They needed to stretch their legs because the snow was soon to fall and they would then be cooped in their coup for a winter of nuptial nuzzling.
Then, fate found our feathered friends and catastrophe unfolded.
In spite of his heroic attempts and life threatening injuries, Thunder was unsuccessful in saving his betrothed. Alas, Lighting was murdered by marauding dogs. Thunder returned to recuperate in his coup that he had once shared with his beloved.
His winter was long and cold.
With spring Thunder emerged, some feathers still tattered and his heart still broken. The Rancher feared that he would not survive his broken heart. A search began for a mate to ease Thunder’s suffering, to no avail. As the days warmed so did the burning desire in Thunder’s loins. His amorous attempts were rebuffed by the Rancher, stray chickens and even the occasional wandering barn cat. It seemed that only Thunder held an open mind when it came to inter-species and inter-phylum intercourse. His sexual deviance became increasingly insufferable. At the precipice of relocation a miracle occurred.
On the winds of fate, straight from the heavens, a wild Turkey hen named “Wendy” arrived. Thunder was instantly smitten. It is uncertain whether it was normal Turkey behavior, or Wendy’s promiscuous ways, that lead to the instantaneous release that Thunder had so longed for. Never the less, the union was formed. If you had listened very carefully, you would have heard a collective sigh of relief shared by those of us who could have unwilling fallen prey to Thunder’s debauchery.
As spring turned to summer, Wendy and Thunder lived happily ever after as a testament to True Turkey Love.