On Cottony Clouds
Will you be bothered if I wax eloquent a bit, you my singular reader? If so, hmm, I don't really care. I'm going to anyway! Haha!
So here it is. I love cloth diapers. They're so ... fluffy and soft and sweet (sometimes). They're so effective and useful and inexpensive. They're so cuddly. Can you picture it?
Diapers are also much like plot, aren't they? Absolutely essential and sometimes messy?
I often think of plot as the bones inside a body, or the undergirding of a building. Here's where I get to mix metaphors, like playing in the mud. Industrial and urban is cool right now. We love interiors with exposed brick and copper piping. As far as I know, however, we don't like exposed wiring and rafters open to the sky in Michigan, in January. Many books I read have an overexposed plot. Not photographically overexposed, mind you. Exposed like the creepy guy in the overcoat at the bus stop. These books are anorexic, jagged edges of bones jutting out. They're the books that make you want to tap the author on the shoulder and say, "Uh, excuse me, but your plot is showing."
Other books are fluffy. Soft. They're plot marshmallows that have been put in the microwave for ten seconds on high. They're the guy in the low-riding sedan. They need Weight Watchers and a crowbar to pry off the excess layers of 1970s paneling and a sandblasting to clear the 1930s lead based paint to get to the gorgeous red brick below. They're the diaper with so many layers they never fully dry and always sort of stink, so much bulk baby can't sit up. They're a problem.
Yet there's also a range of what works. I love the urban streamlined design, but I also love Victorian frills. So long as both are in the right place. I don't want the historical 1910 colonial stripped down to plaster and lath; I don't want the high-rise condo decked out in lace. Just as I don't want my sweet baby girl peeing out of her too-small outgrown diapers, no matter how much I love them. The fluff has to match the baby; the structure has to match the book. Genre, audience, intensity, all factor in when making the Plot Decision. At the end, the goal is a book that's not like Papa's chair, exposed springs and unsanded wood that leaves splinters in Goldie's bum. Not like Mama's chair, either. So soft the poor girl suffocates. It needs to be like Baby's chair. Baby's diaper? A perfect fit, soft and squishy, Just right.