MY LITTLE ANTIQUE IRON: Thoughts on Finishing Stories

IMG_0332Among the treasures I keep on my desk is a little antique iron. It belonged to my grandmother. Known as a “flat” or “sad” iron, which is an old word for “heavy”, my little iron has a very distinct #2 on its back.  After a little research, I learned that iron manufacturers numbered their products by size. The larger the iron, the larger the number. A #2 iron is on the small side. By the time this little iron was heating up on the stove, all the necessary lead-up work – the sewing (if it was a new garment), the washing, and the overall pressing – would have been completed. Only the last dainty details would have remained such as the delicate pressing of the lace on a collar or the little pleats on a shirt front.

Though in real life I despise ironing, I find this little iron inspiring.  To the writer in me, it signifies joy. It’s a reminder that after weeks of laboring and revising, there comes a point where my story is almost finished! The overall story is well-stitched and the time has come to delicately and attentively press through each sentence, making sure that every last comma and verb agreement are correct.

At what stage of the writing process do you find yourself today? Are you in the final, exhilerating round of pressing out every last comma, or are you still stitching away?  Either way, I hope that my little iron encourages you to press on!  Happy ironing, er writing, all!



11 thoughts on “MY LITTLE ANTIQUE IRON: Thoughts on Finishing Stories

  1. We have several antique irons in our collection. They are heftier than your cute little one (I’ll have to check the numbers.) I use them as door stops, but I will never look at them the same way again! Thanks for another lovely analogy!

  2. The “handed down” flat iron is now a “tool” of inspiration! Lovely post. I have some flat irons, three that belonged to my mother-in-law, and a couple found at a yard sale. I love them. My mother had two of those kinds of irons, and they were given to two of my brothers.

  3. Thank you all for stopping by. I’m delighted that even though several of you professed that you despise ironing, you still found the analogy encouraging! And, Iza, I remember my grandmother having much a much larger iron that she used as door holder. I’m not sure what happened to it, but I think my aunt may have it.

  4. What a beautiful analogy. There’s a reason the expression “to iron out” (differences, difficulties, contradictions) uses your mother’s old iron to make the point.
    In real life, like you, I am not a great ironer. I never learned properly how to do it, and one burned shirt was traumatic for years to come. At least that’s my excuse. But I make no excuses for not smoothing out my prose.

  5. Nice analogy:) I’m doing a bit of finish pressing, but also crumpling a project I thought I’d already finished pressing. If only there were wrinkle-free manuscripts (like wrinkle-free shirts).

    • LOL! The idea of wrinkle-free manuscripts is making me giggle. But I do think they’d be very bland and boring. Wrinkly stories that we must wrestle with are much more stylish. Have fun crumpling and then re-pressing.

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