My Thursday challenge to myself is to click ‘Random Article’ in Wikipedia, and write about whatever article comes up first, and also link the topic in some way to writing.
These random articles are definitely becoming more and more obscure. Today’s article was headed ‘Xenothictis’ and contained one sentence telling me it is a genus of moths belonging to the subfamily Tortricinae of the family Tortricidae. Bet you didn’t know that!
I must admit I was tempted to ‘cheat’ and find another article – but my challenge is to write something about the first article that comes up.
So what do I write about this moth, or indeed about any moths, apart from saying I really hate having moths in the house. If they’re not fluttering around the light, they’re zooming around my head. They also seem to have an amazing sixth sense, enabling them to hide somewhere the minute I pick up the fly-swat.
We don’t have very large moths in the UK – I think the largest only has a wingspan of about 4 inches and most are only about 2 inches. If the Atlas moth, with its wingspan of about 10 inches came anywhere near me, I’d run away screaming my head off! Fortunately for me, it lives in South East Asia.
Writing about moths has reminded me of mothballs, those pungent chemical balls my mother used to put in the suitcases where she kept our winter clothes in the summer, and vice-versa. That was in the days of natural fibres, such as wool and linen, whereas today, of course, many clothes have some synthetic fibre in them (which the moths don’t seem to like)
The term ‘mothballed’ comes from this storing of clothes, and refers to anything put into storage or whose operation is suspended. How many of us have stories (either finished, or started and never finished) we have ‘mothballed’? About 5 years ago, I decided to open the box where I kept mine (dating from about 30 years ago!), and have since rewritten three of them, all of which have been published. So it’s worth bringing your old stories out of their ‘mothballs’ and seeing if you can bring any of them to publishable standard.
I also have another story ‘mothballed’ here on my computer. I wrote about 13 chapters, decided it wasn’t working, so started rewriting it. This time I got to Chapter 15, before I began to feel the same - something, somewhere wasn't right with it. I couldn’t face the thought of starting it again, so I’ve put it into temporary storage, and started a completely new story. Maybe when I’ve finished that one, it will be time to bring the first story out of its mothballs!
Do you have stories you've mothballed? Or any that you've brought out of storage and rewritten?