Editing, Tips, Words, Writing

Those trippy little things …

I live in an older neighborhood filled with mature trees. Two of those are massive sycamores in my backyard. I love their shade; I hate their allergens. Squirrels adore them. Most of the time, I have no problem with squirrels. I’m not too happy when they eat my tangerines and peaches … especially when they take the last one I left on the tree for maximum sweetness, but what can you do? Naively, I thought that was all the trouble they would cause.


I had noticed a slight dimming of the house lights at times, like when the dryer started up or I used the iron, but recently it got worse. I thought maybe it had something to do with all the rain we’ve had. Then, one evening we nearly had a brown out when I started the microwave. The next morning, we called PG&E and they came right out.

We have above ground electrical service in this neighborhood, and those wires pass right through the sycamores on the way from pole to house. Guess what else squirrels like to eat? Well, maybe not eat, but they like to chew on the covering of electrical wiring. They had exposed parts of the wire, which led to our problem.

Yep, sometimes it’s the little things that trip us up. Even in our writing.

I recently emailed a draft of the short synopsis I’d written to my friend Tricia for her feedback. In her reply she advised me to revise the opening hook because I had used the words of and to three times each—in one sentence! Little words, big problem.

What are the trippy little things in your life?