18 April, 2012

You've Gotta Fight For Your Write

Writers' Wednesday!!!

If writing comes easily to you, you're either doing it wrong, or you're so experienced that your formula has become a kind of fill-in-the-blank rote.

The first couple of drafts may come together like a pre-packaged meal. I can only hope that you realize by the third draft that something in the taste was lacking.

Don't feel bad for being exhausted after a few pages. You're doing it right.

17 April, 2012

A Handle On Things

Brief moving update: This Friday night I will spend the first night in the new home. After at least a dozen ticket changes, wifey finally has the flight she needs (one where they'll actually help her board the cats pn change-overs so that she can concentrate in the bug). The V70 is almost road ready. And we just might be able to pull this off with a few extra dollars.

The bug developed a fascination with handles. More the movement and sound they make than their practical application. But, that doesn't mean she has any problem opening doors and drawers.

Over the phone, I've heard the first devious giggles that I was assured were accompanied by equally devious faces whilst the bug engages in play she seems to know won't be allowed when the cuteness wears off. She's definitely having full days with her mom. Even falling asleep before she lays down.

13 April, 2012

Furry Family

Family On Friday!!!

As wifey continues to face difficulty in arranging for the cats to fly across the country for our move, I'm inspired to comment on how pets become part of the family.

Yes. Pets often are a responsibility that tends to get passed around like a game of hot potato.

But, they can also show us an untethered capacity for love. They seem to know when to give us that necessary cuddle our own species is either too busy or oblivious to provide.

Even if we would consider making the move easier by finding the cats new homes, there probably isn't anyone in this country thinking, "Gee. I sure wish I had a cat. I just can't seem to find one. Let alone a full-grown one." Chances are better that someone willing to take a cat shouldn't have anymore.

We want our cats and our bearded dragon in our new east coast home. They are a big part of making it (and us) feel complete.

11 April, 2012

Say It. Don't Spray It.

Writers' Wednesday!!!

Easier said than done.

It's also easier to write it. As writers, we get to stay clean and fresh regardless of what we make our characters go through. We're also safer and more comfortable.

So, how can we effectively capture the unsavory or unsafe for our readers/audience to feel like they've experienced it?

A little familiarity and a lot of imagination go a long way. Maybe you've never had to flee attackers after being shot in the foot. But, if you've ever had to walk to the couch after banging your toe on the coffee table's leg and can exaggerate, you might be able to live out the moment on paper.

Talk to some people that may have gone through what your scene relates to. You'll start to pick up on a common language that you can use to make your material relevant.

Basically, it boils down to getting creative with research. You may need to amplify. You may need to take it down a notch. That's between you and your characters.

10 April, 2012

A House To Fill

The bug continues to explore the world of standing and the new ways to frustrate mommy that her newfound muscle control allows.

Meanwhile, I have put a deposit on a rental house, signed the lease, and been sucked up into the maelstrom of the logistics involved in moving ourselves from three locations into one. Wifey is doing a great job of handling what she can from the left coast.

I have two weekends and one day off from work to try and ready the house enough that they all can go to bed when they get here and worry about unpacking what remains the next day.

Our schedule, as we know it, is that I'll fly in two and a half weeks, start driving in three weeks, they fly in four weeks, and that leaves only one month before we're together again as a family under one roof. One more month. We can do it.

06 April, 2012

Thrill Of The Hunt

Family On Friday!!!

You've got to enjoy being part of a culture that trains children to find brightly colored objects hidden in random places while adults will check three obvious places for keys before calling them lost.

Adults could learn a lot from the determination of a child. We should strive to be childlike, not childish.

Your child may seem lazy in the way s/he avoids doing things of little interest to them. But, take note of the gusto they are capable of to get or do something they do care about.

If we could do that, our keys would never be lost. We just haven't found them yet.

04 April, 2012

Making The Doh!

Writers' Wednesday!!!

There's a certain kind of genius involved in creating stupidity.

Sure you can create a character that always runs a gallon shy of a quart. But, doesn't it read/play more credible to have normal, or even highly intelligent characters, rationalize courses of action that violate our fundamental understanding of evolution?

It doesn't have to be just a gag for some comic relief. Those sorts of moments can become major plot points hurling our hero(ine) over the threshold and firmly slamming the door behind them. Or their momentary lapse of judgement might be just the own-worst-enemy obstacle you need to show your character being dynamic and growing as a result of action in the story.

The point is: you should be smart enough to allow any and all of your characters an off night. Watch how the ripples play a little distortion over your story's harmony.

And, let's face it - it's fun!

03 April, 2012

Anticipatory Tears

The bug had her ten-month doctor's visit and only had to have one shot. Apparently, her long-term memory is fully functioning. As soon as the needle nurse showed up, she started wailing. She wasn't buying the whole it's-only-going-to-be-one-shot story.

It might have been the most she's ever cried at the doc's. Anticipating the pain was worse than experiencing it. Poor little bug.

Speaking of anticipation ...

Our months of living on opposing coasts have nearly come to an end. Should I cry with joy in anticipating the new house coming together and tucking the bug in at night? Or cry in anticipation over the pain and difficulty from the process of getting them, the three cats, the bearded dragon, and our remaining things (not the least of which is a V70 that could benefit from a repair or two) moved 2800 miles?

Either way, sounds like I'll be going through some Puffs™.