Day 80: There is a Temptation

There is a temptation to celebrate this as eighty consecutive days of blogging, but then I’d have to celebrate all the 10’s and maybe some of the 10-1’s–because they are close.   So I’ll endeavor to refrain.

Watched “Babe” with my daughters tonight.  It was basically the first time they’d seen it and we went all the way through since the ending is the best part and the whole point of watching the movie in the first place.  “That’ll do Pig.  That’ll do.”   It nearly makes me cry.

I caught the tail end of “Armageddon” with Bruce Willis the other day.  A line from that chokes me up every time too, “That’s not a salesman. That’s your daddy.”

There is another many moment in a cheesy movie floating out there that I thought I’d be able to pull up for this list, but it escapes me at this writing.  I don’t know where I am going with this line except to say there are some movie’s out there that make it briefly hard for me to swallow I find them so touching.  Every one of them is a ‘manly’ scene or some sort.

When ‘Doc’ steps out of the playing field in Iowa to save the daughter from choking on a hotdog!  That’s the other one.

There is an call in those scenes to write till I have one of my own

Word count:  228

Day 78: 1000 One Step Journeys

Often as I sit before the keyboard and the screen I wonder exactly what I am going to write next.  Will it please me or will it suffice.  More frequently than I like it only does the later.  Will it extend the blossoming work I am doing on the Shanty lines?  Will it be something entirely new and intriguing?  Or will it be something more like this?  My brain dumping a few thoughts to barely cover a debt to me of sevety-eight days ago.

I might not always be proud of the content, but I am continually happy that I don’t let myself get away with a fail.

The feeling of not writing tonight or any time is exactly like the craving I get on the penultimate day of a fast.  I’ve done enough.  There’s nothing I prove by going one more day when I’ve already gone this long.

Bargaining with oneself is so odd, so ironic.  If you could video tape a person doing this in their heads and play it back it would be comical, sad, or both.  The audience–even the auto-audience–wouldn’t fall for it.  They wouldn’t understand how either half of the man could.  Yet I do.  Or at least I can.  It’s nice to use that oddity for something constructive.

They–the Chinese ‘they’–say that a journey  of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  What they don’t tell you is that the the journey is made up of first steps.  It’s hard every time.

Word count: 245 

Day 76: On Giant Lizards

I believe I’ve griped elsewhere that I envy artists’ ease concocting the fantastical.  I don’t know that I pinpointed the part that annoys me the most: that they can do it with obvious style, accuracy, and expedience.

There are differences in drawing giant lizards and writing giant lizards.  An artist draws the exact giant lizard she has in mind: the one with baggy skin, porcine snout, but sinuous tail.  Or maybe the one with a thick-veined dorsal fan, tusks, and dainty wren-feet.  Currently, an author expounding anything is to be held in disregard for the sin of ‘info-dumping’.  An author, rather, must become a modeler.  Starting of with giant lizard lump-of-clay then gracefully mentioning excessive rolls of leathery skin when it moves the plot forward, or the piggish facial features when it enhances the theme, and finally the sinuous tale when it increases the conflict.  Or maybe none of this at all–just knowing inside that it was all there despite the literal omission required to novelate commercially.

For author’s these days it’s about the journey and not so much the scenery along the way.  Scenery is fine to be sure as long as we readers don’t have to slow the vehicle to take it all in.  There really is no picture taking and definitely no scrapbooking in novels these days.

Fairness is not a concept I worry too much about when I gripe, but I always wanted to be an artist, so I have decided to find out just how hard it is to craft a giant lizard in a visual language.  I suspect I’ll go for the same 1000 day conceit I’ve been pushing here–though I don’t make as big a deal of it over there.

Maybe some day I’ll have color.

Word count: 291

Me Too

Wonderwebby captured well what I’ve been feeling of late about my last 75 days of writing…

I love reading or combining words that are visually evocative or phonetically interesting.

I am not certain I have been doing that, but I do enjoy it.

Briefly to her implicit point that some feel social media stifles communications, I am not sure how any believable argument could be constructed to support that possibility.  I suppose texting would be the place to start, but I am not sure anyone feels threatened that substantial work will be done in that style.  Form follows function after all.

Day 70: Green Acres

I read a blog that lead me to an article on city people moving to the country and getting scared by the noises at night.  These things amuse me.  I am sure my behaviors in the big city mirror their reactions in some way so I won’t judge.

What caught my attention was the exploitable bits for writing.  We writers look for fish out of water stories, but never consider the ones close to home.  I’ll have to spend time thinking about this.

Day 61: Brain Fodder

Think of the most improbable place people could live then skip two to the right and you have the ah’Taconschientee or in the suffixial patois, Shanty.

From a distance, Shanty gleams like a melting drip of a dragonfly’s eye. Nearer you make out the honeycomb of confetti-like solex clinging together and glistening in the sea sun. This could be a stalactite or an icicle.

You trim your flit to hover in a more or less safe zone back from the congested hive of flits, hangers, and sticks swooping and, well, flitting to and from Shanty. It is not hard to swap your fellow fliers for wasps and Shanty for the papery nest. The rear fans of your flit sense your curiosity and wind up a degree. You drift toward Shanty’s center of gravity.

You’re a killer. You have business here. Deadly business.

You chuckle at the melodrama and unzip your jacket to expose your décolletage.

This not an edit.  It’s a discussion of my thinking.

I like that I didn’t waste time with overly specific details.  Laundry lists of whats and wheres and hows don’t much appeal to me as a reader, so I don’t write this way.  When I make descriptions I like to overload the effort to include emotion, tone, and setting along with the information.  The stalactite reference juxtaposes the rest of the insect imagery but it’s still natural.  “…but it’s more alive.” tacked onto the end of that first paragraph might help it blend in even better.

I really do feel like I pull off the overloads I have worked on pretty well.  That’s not to say I shouldn’t continue to evaluate them closely.  My two concerns are that I don’t know when to pull back, that I linger too long on that type of description, and that I may not transition as smoothly as I think into the more plot-advancing stuff.  These descriptive analogies and extended metaphors bring the strange events and places proximal to the reader–that’s my intention anyway.

Considering my habit of scanning pages for dialogue and nearly always glossing the description, the way I write is the inverse of how I read.  Initially that seems odd, but the more I think on the two it may not be so strange after all.  I love dialog.  I don’t write it so I can’t screw it up.

Great.  I really don’t need to uncover another fear tonight.  Not after I’ve been running scared on the tacit word count challenge.  Good thing I am being introspective rather than creative.  This head writing is always dense.  At least I’ll make my unspoken quota of five hundred words a post on this one.

Using second person in this was an accident.  Or maybe a hold over of my recent training style.  When I train I direct the participants to do perform tasks: you click here, you drag this there, or you arrange these in a row like this.  Hmmm.  Not sure that I would have categorized second person as a training style.  I wonder if the immediacy and the improbability of second person could be better served with that in mind.  Maybe even mix in first person to make it read more like a trainer.  I do it this way, but you could do it this other way if you like.  Masia Freixa was second person too.  It was more of a tour however.  Actually that might be a better them to write second person in than training.  Less apt to get preachy, still allows the reader to make decisions about the events.

I might be digging on second person more than I would have thought.  I wonder how you can find well done examples.  I know of none.

Even before it’s clear this is second person–I think it ramped into that–it obviously doesn’t take itself seriously.  The writing is self-aware if not deprecating in it’s ‘let me tell you what I’m going to write’ way.  I think maybe people would be ready for an overt narrator like this.  Another bit of research to do on reading trends.

Brain fodder.

Word count: 520