Day 102: Hallmark

It’s hard to get back in the saddle.  Even with just two days away.  Still deciding if those were post-justified planned outages or full-on fails.

“Ready,” the gray haired gentleman states like a question.  The gray haired lady simply heads for the door.

Later, in the car, she says, “It’s too bad Jimmy can’t make it.  I always look forward to seeing the girls.”


The waiter sets the check in front of the gentleman.  “The fish wasn’t as good as yours.”  The lady offers him her good ear.  Gesturing with a wavering hand that she didn’t hear.

“I said, ‘The fish wasn’t…'”  The lady conceals a smile.  “Stop that.  I compliment you enough.  You don’t need to hear it twice.”

“Here.  Let me get that for you.”  The young man holds the shop door open.  Warm cinnamon air envelopes the three of them for a moment, then the boy is gone.  Inside it smells like candles.

The gray haired couple stand shoulder to shoulder at the end of the card rack.  The lady selects a pink one.  The open card flutters like a rose in a breeze in her trembling hands as she reads.  She puts it back.  Next a pale yellow one.  She snorts almost immediately and offers it to the gentleman.  Up-nods in agreement.  He puts it back.

The gentleman scans the rows with his finger like he’s tracing out sentences on a page.  The doorbell jingles as a new man comes in.

To be continued…

Word count:  241

Day 100: 900 More to Go

The nature of this bloggish incarnation of my daily writing doesn’t allow me to write anything prior to the day I post it.  Which leaves me little time for editing or pruning of my efforts.  Not that I would have been preparing this 100th day long in advance.  Let me tell you what I have been thinking but not writing.  This day is monumental for me.  It marks not only an extended dedication to daily writing, but also several new learning experiences.

I have written before in spurts.  A few pages one week, some polishing of those the next, and maybe one or two new pages the third week.  Those undisciplined forays produced three, maybe four, valuable pieces of pieces of writing.  I sat down with the purpose to write, but irregularly.  I never expected to complete anything of significance and I never required myself to produce new content before leaving the keyboard.  If there was a distraction it was invariably attended to first.  Then I often didn’t return to the writing at hand–for days.

Surprisingly, this worked out well at the time.  I joined a local writing group that met twice a month.  We had just enough members and just enough time between submissions for me to crank out a few more labored efforts with out seeming to lag the remainder of the group too much.  This approach engendered in me the much needed ability to accept criticism on my writing without straining my low volume output too much.  It felt good to be in that place.  Then work intruded, my output became excuses, then vapor, then finally non-attendance.

That I have written daily for the past hundred days marks my acquisition of a necessary behavior.

Enduring dedication to the habit of writing spawns an awareness that leads to increased quality.  Writing daily is hard to do without inadvertently desiring to do it better each day.  Or at least better again the next day.  The two things I feel I have most come to recognize and correct are passive voice and nominalization.

I will not claim to have eradicated all passive voice.  I identify the act more quickly and stamp it out while writing the sentence rather than afterward.  Without making corrections mid-sentence I would doom myself to never making corrections at all.  Going back over stuff, editing, should move up on my list in the next hundred block.

Describing my understanding of nominalization requires that I know exactly what nominalization means.  I don’t know–not exactly.  The term is the act of turning a verb into a noun: ‘let’s do an assessment on Bob’ rather than ‘let’s assess Bob’.  Thus far nominalizing intertwines with passivity.  Removing the later tends to avoid the former.  I remain alert.

More comes next.

If writing the little bit I have each day in the last hundred days increased my awareness and skill this much, then writing a little bit more each day the next hundred will do the same, but more.  Along with my current vigilance I hope to better my grammar, particularly splicing commas and punctuating dialogue.

Word count: 508