Dime Upon Dime

A while back (a long while, actually) my grandmother presented my son with an empty two-liter soda bottle and five dimes. She said if he’d fill it up with nothing but dimes, he could save $700.

That would be 7,000 dimes if my math is right. And if they all fit? Some sources say it would be closer to 5,500 dimes, but nevertheless…

She’s been faithfully saving her dimes to give to his project since then.

We’ve been faithfully adding dimes to that thing for months and months. The bottom is barely covered.

Now, the main problem with this challenge is that we don’t carry cash very often, so procuring dimes on a daily or even weekly basis is a rare thing.

We’ve also been tempted to cheat. To appease grandma, we could buy rolls of dimes and empty them into the container to show more “progress.”

Or we could add a few quarters in the mix to use up the volume in the bottle and speed things along.

But we haven’t cheated—yet.

And we’ve not made a dent in the volume.

The dime challenge feels a lot like writing a novel. One word at a time. One sentence. One paragraph.

How many words will it take to get to “The End”? More than 7,000. Likely more than 7,000 paragraphs.

And some days, I just don’t have the “cash” to churn out words. Life moments and Everlasting Gobstopper bumps demand I spend mental energy elsewhere.

Some days I’m tempted to cheat—to just slap words down in haphazard form, meandering from one paragraph to another. Puff up the volume a bit.

But that would take away from the craft and art of it.

There are no “word banks” to cash in poorly thought-out narratives for shiny, concise storylines. Well, I guess there’s plagiarism, but that’s generally frowned upon. Probably like spreading human remains in the Library of Congress…

But, someday, that two-liter bottle will be full. Don’t know when. Dime upon dime, month by month, the empty space will fill up with tiny little Roosevelts. Someday, we’ll take that sucker to the bank and cash it out. Smiling all the way home.

Then we’ll probably do it again.

Someday that novel will reach “The End.” Don’t know when. Word upon word, sentence upon sentence. Someday, I’ll publish that sucker. Smiling all the way home.

Then I’ll most definitely do it again.

Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on Mondays for a new blog and the first Friday of every month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.