Backstory -- When we moved to NC, I had numerous things in storage. Practically a whole house. In the boxes marked "kitchen" I had wrapped my good glass bowls and platters in kitchen towels. All kinds, colors, textures, 99% of them brand new, never been used. When I finished unpacking I probably had around 30 kitchen towels.
A year after we moved in, we got 2 chihuahua's. Cute little things no bigger than my palm. Fun times. They slept in a box in the kitchen. As they grew, for some crazy reason, they took the kitchen towels off the oven door handle where I hang them, and not only slept with them in the box, but chewed them. I guess they were teething and kitchen towels were cheaper than leather shoes.
Present Story -- The other day it was really nice, so I did some laundry and hung it on the line. My ex took it all in for me. I asked if he had folded it before he put in the basket (because the last time he took stuff off the line he just threw it in there and I had to iron everything twice to get the wrinkles out.) He said he had except for the rags. I asked, "What rags?" I hadn't washed rags, I hadn't used rags. (Those I keep upstairs in the rag bag in the linen closet.) He said, "You know, all those towels that are ripped to shreds because of the dogs."
Ahem. Those are my kitchen towels. How dare he call my kitchen towels rags.
Unfortunately, I finally have to admit to myself they are rags. Ripped, shredded, frayed, stained, sorry looking rags. But I can't put them in the rag bag because then I won't have any kitchen towels. And some of you might say, "Geez, just go buy some." But to me, it's not all that easy to just go and buy new kitchen towels. I was a chef. I look for something special in a kitchen towel. It has to be 100% cotton, it has to feel soft to the touch, it has to absorb water quickly, it can't fade, or shrink, and most especially, I just have to like it. I know, picky picky picky. Besides, unless the old kitchen towels are completely threadbare, I refuse to part with them. I'm a big recycler and unless it's absolutely useless, I can use it somewhere else.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
I've been reworking THE LADY'S MASQUERADE. This was the first book I ever finished. I love this story. I love the plot. It's sweet, and fun, two cousins fight over a woman, it has a little mystery, and Lady Olivia, and the ending is just such a surprise. When I finished it 4 years ago, it was beautiful, brand new, and I was oh-so-proud of it.
But let me tell you what, working with an original 4 year old manuscript that is horribly formatted and horribly executed is about to make me crazy. What was once a beautiful new kitchen towel, is now a big old stained, frayed, ripped rag. If I told you half the mistakes I made with this ms. you'd probably gasp, and then laugh your head off.
Now most people say throw your first book under the bed with the bunnies and leave it there. Never let it see the light of day. I can see why, which I probably should have done. Compared to what I'm writing today, it's a rag. But I couldn't. I loved this story too much. Besides, as a recycler, I have to try and do something with it, right?
Tell me -- Where's your first book? Is it snuggling with the creatures under the bed, hiding in a drawer, or have you revived it, put it the laundry with lots of bleach and hung it on the line?