It's the middle of the night--or the middle of the day. You go out to the kitchen, open the fridge and check out the possibilities. It's a positive smorgasbord of leftovers. You didn't plan to have that many containers of odds and ends, but that's just the way it ended up. Now as you open one container after another, you discover you're the proud owner of a refrigerator of spoiled leftovers and you end up cleaning out the fridge instead of eating that snack.
Sometimes (particularly holidays) we plan for leftovers, knowing we'll have extra turkey, ham, or some other hefty roast for future meals. We're careful to package it up and put it in the freezer. But mostly, we don't plan for those extra bits and bites. That's when we end up with the zombie leftovers.
Our writing is sometimes like that. In our exuberance, we end up with extra bits. Some of it's just too good to throw away. So we package it up for reuse somewhere else...and then forget about it.
Then comes the day when we're rummaging around in our files for something to jumpstart our writing and we discover our zombie leftovers. Should we use them? Or should we toss 'em out?
My advice? Take a good whiff. Then decide. And if it's a decision to toss? Then do it all the way. Don't just repackage them so they clutter up your storage area. Clean it up. Wipe down the shelves. And start fresh.
Leftovers. Not always ready for prime time.