Two Takeaways When Revising with Intent

jon desjardins
4 min readDec 16, 2021

Last year I decided to start an annual trend of doing 12 days of Halloween Before Christmas using photos I’d taken of people’s Halloween decorations, using them as prompts to share dorky/fun blurbs on Instagram. My tag being @itsjtd (shameless plug).

I’ve been waiting a whole year to get back to it and now… find myself lacking the spirit or… having trouble rising to it. The one I did for today was this:

The three skull patch is much better than single or double. It comes with thrice the quips and, at least, a dozen more jibs. Plus it’s been said that if you can find a way to pull out a wisdom tooth or two, without getting bitten by them, they’ll raise your favorite pet, even if it’s a fish, from the dead. And, if you don’t want that, they’ll be happy to grant you a wish instead.

Cute, right? Maybe even a little bit fun, mayyyyybe? Well… it’s the best out thrice, so thrice is what went up. The other two versions came out much darker. Here’s the first:

Three skulls on a devil’s island, rolling on by, catching wisdom, spouting curses, learning how to fly. They may be knuckleheads, but if there’s one thing they know, it’s how to rend flesh from bone, mind from soul. Perhaps that’s what keeps them in darkness, heartless, easy to command. Or is it cosmic tragedy, one with which they cannot even poke at, repeating, forevermore, the only joke they’ve ever known.

Starts off kinda jaunty then goes to pot, trying too hard, digging too deep to mean something. What happened to fun? Oof. So, what about the second? Do you think it’s darker or lighter in tone? I’ll let you decide:

Shakespeare once almost said that the bones of tomorrow are the bones of today. I’m not sure if it’s true… he was probably still noodling it around in his head when he perished. ’Tis a shame he never got to flesh it out.

… … … oof. I mean, I like the first sentence, it’s cute. And there is a punchline with the last, yet… I really don’t think it got to where I wanted it to go. Plus, with the whole thing, it only loosely relates to the picture with “bones” and “head.”

I’m writing about this to share how difficult it was to find the “right” ( see also: barely serviceable) thing to put down. As I’m writing this…