I’m turning into a crocodile. Really.

I didn’t set out to become a crocodile. Honestly.

It just happened.

I mean, yeah, sure, they’ve got nice choppers. And it would be really nice to just open my mouth and have a bunch of birds clean my teeth instead of visiting the dentist. But as much as I hate going to the dentist, I never thought transmorgrifying into a crocodile was the best alternative.

After all, I’ve got kids.

So, one day, I caught my reflection in the computer screen. Scary.



I turned away in horror at my disfigurement. But then I got to thinking. Cover Girl or Maybelline might not ask me to advertise mascara for them, but a keen and crafty eye could come in quite handy. Typos, run-ons, and split infinitives would be a thing of the past. Extra verbiage, boring words, and weak verbs would be dead in the water. And best of all, I would never lose my keys, sunglasses, or chapstick again. And that would be cool.

I didn’t dare look at my reflection but I looked down, and my writer’s butt was gone.


I panicked. What would I wear to church? Why couldn’t it have been a mermaid’s tail so I could fulfill my life long dream of lying across a rock as the sun sets and waves crash as I slap my tail and toss my long hair. But I digress. A strong powerful tail might be nice. I could power through revisions. Unnecessary characters would flee. Distracting plot lines would shape up or ship out. And with one swipe, all my sentences and paragraphs would vary in structure, style, and length. And with a couple flips of my tail, the carpet would be cleared of all toys. More time for cleaning the attic writing.

I was beginning to warm up to my new look. So I peeked at my reflection again.


Wow. I could get used to this. No more worries about fine lines or wrinkles or sun spots. I could put all my saved money from creams and lotions into postage or workshops. The bumpy thick skin would probably be the new black. I’d be the envy of the town. And with such thick skin, tough critiques and rejections would be just a drop in the pond.

But then something caught my eye between the icons on my desktop.


I put sparkly vampire guy to shame. They’d probably ask me to star in the next Twilight movie. Sure my kids might not want too many kisses goodnight anymore. And my sister in law probably won’t ask me to babysit. But think of what I could do with teeth like that? I could bite into my manuscript, tear it up, revise, and rewrite in no time at all. And just one little grin would send my kids running to clean their room.

I took one last look. I couldn’t help myself.


I might not win the local beauty pangeant.  And I definitely shouldn’t volunteer in my son’s art class when they’re making their clay bowls.

But I can write. I can revise. And I can take rough critiques and tough rejections. And now I have the perfect excuse in the morning for being a little grumpy and slow-going before my cup of hot coffee – I need some time to warm up. You know, the whole cold blooded thing.

Have you turned into a croc yet? Really, it’s the new rage.

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17 Responses to I’m turning into a crocodile. Really.

  1. Heather Kelly January 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    I love this! I need to be a croc, too. It’s the thick skin that I think I desperately need! Do you have a magic potion? The one thing, though, is that a croc can’t follow a straight line. Which actually might be okay, since rarely is it a straight line from writing to agents to publication. Lots of zig-zagging!

  2. Laura January 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Love that! The road to publishing is definitely not a straight line! And, yes, the magic potion is to get your writing shredded but then see how it improved your writing, and receive rejections. Lots of them. 🙂

  3. Tina Lee January 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    This is brilliant. I love the imagery. And it seems like a great device for creating distance, which I need in spades.

    I love the official bio and the UNOFFICIAL bio.

    I definitely will be back for more. Nice to meet you, Laura Pauling.

  4. Anna January 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Haha! I was wondering why my skin was so dry recently. Maybe it’s just part of the natural process of becoming a croc. I agree with Heather – it would be nice to have slightly thicker skin!

  5. Laura January 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I buy Lubriderm by the box. 🙂

  6. Laura January 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Thanks for visiting Tina Lee. Nice to meet you too!

  7. Lisa and Laura January 26, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    I love this. And yes, our skin is much tougher than it used to be. It stings at first, but then we work through the pain and believe it or not, we thrive on the sometimes painful honesty that comes from a critique!

    Very creative post.

  8. Susan R. Mills January 26, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Yeah, I feel that way too. Especially during the winter. I usually feel better come spring.

  9. Kristen Torres-Toro January 26, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    I just want to sit in the sun. Can I do that? :0)

  10. Laura January 26, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    LiLa – Yes. Painful but productive critiques are the best! Especially in hindsight once I’ve rewritten. 🙂

    Susan – Thanks for stopping by! Winter doesn’t last forever!

    Kristin – I definitely recommend sitting in the sun. A bit of warmth always helps!

  11. Jennifer Shirk January 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Ah, I thought I was looking a little different. LOL!

  12. Laura January 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    This is what happens when you start developing thick skin. Writers beware!

  13. MG Higgins January 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Cool. All the time I could save not blow-drying my hair. I wish I did have thicker skin. Rejections are painful.

  14. Laura January 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Rejections are still hard for me too. But I’m learning that it really isn’t personal. But where my thick skin has grown is in receiving critiques. I don’t take it personally or get discouraged. But I set it aside, then come back, and figure out what I agree with and what I don’t.

  15. Heather Kelly January 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Laura–I just gave out an award, and you are a recipient. Come check it out on my blog!

  16. Kelly Polark January 27, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Writers definitely need thick skin! And you can definitely sink those teeth into a good book!
    Creative post!

  17. Laura January 27, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Kelly! 🙂

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