Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

While rummaging through some boxes of books I had tucked away from my last move, I ran across a copy of The Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner. The first chapter nailed me! I find I cannot focus, that each day a new “voice” or “form” presents itself as how I will write. Some days I want to write a sonnet, others literary prose as fine as the greats. But, while writing more and more, and reading more and more, I find I keep coming back to humor at the base of my writing like flour is used in baking. Maybe Betsy is on to something here … to keep working to find my voice.

Two evenings ago, I came across a little story I started several years ago. I read it and actually laughed out loud at a couple different parts. The writing was terrible. Transitions were poor. But, its pace was nice and had me in a smirk the whole way through. I’ve done a rewrite on the first three single-spaced pages to fix the transitions and I can honestly say, it’s pretty good. Maybe not great, but quite fun and less distracting now that I’ve added a little polish to it.

Anyway, I am trying to find my “voice” … my “form”. Maybe it’s writing with a smirk.


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Writing for Emma: 2

Starting the third story is a humbling experience. I have the idea, I’ve started chapter one, I think I know what I want to write about … and yet, it seems more difficult than the first two. I’ll be playing with it this week because my deadline is this weekend when it is to be revealed to Emma.

A fun thing that came about in book 2 was my love of fun words to say. So, now, Emma (in the stories) likes to chew on fun words. An example is, “Drat!” She’ll learn that word and use it in book 3. Why? Because it’s a fun word, that’s why!

Books 1 and 2 are almost finished marinating and are close to be ready revised and given to my “inner circle.” Oh, joyous times.

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I woke up this morning with an aura of dread compressing me. And then, it hit me. I wrote nothing of consequence yesterday. A few comments on facebook was the extent of this writer’s work (though, I must admit, some of my facebook snippets are quite witty). Of all the writer’s I’ve read about, every one of them says the same thing, to one degree or another: Write Every Day!

Stephen King has a goal of 2,000 words per day – every day – including holidays. Others write between a start and end time. I have no such organization yet, but I feel the heavy lack of accomplishment by writing nothing. So, new goal:

I will write every day … something … whether it is a continuation of a story I’m working on, or some random prose, or even an attempt at a poem. Certainly, my worst times of writing are still more fun than most everything else I do.

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I’ve decided I need to learn to use more ‘vivid’ verbs. Verbs show action, of course, but action shouldn’t be bland. In this sense, I’m looking at how verbs can be used more like adjectives without settling for the silly adverb!

Bland: Emma walked to her room.
Icky Adverb: Emma lazily ran to her room. (or) Emma ran to her room slowly.
Vivid: Emma meandered to her room. (or) Emma moped to her room.

I think there needs to be a balance here. Sometimes the “to the point” verb is necessary to move the story along without getting too flowery and causing the reader to pause for interpretation. Yet, maybe in rewrite, to change some of the bland to vivid can only serve to improve the reader’s experience.

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Writing for Emma

I’m beginning to write stories for my 5-year-old daughter, Emma. We’ve connected in ways I didn’t know possible during our time reading together. I’ve often made up tall-tales while we lay around; and the story of Emma having a friend dragon was born one such lazy day hanging out on the bed.

It’s natural for a writer to study the craft of writing–learning as much about the process as about the word-play. It is that which causes me to research and study to write better for Emma. The secondary is to see if what I do create is worthy of publication. But, publishing these stories or not, Emma deserves the best I can produce.

My intent for this blog is to keep myself focused and to report any new information I learn.

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