Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This Week's Insights

If you have to write a query letter pitch, assign yourself a hated household task. Tell yourself you cannot work on that letter until the task is done. Inspiration magically arrives.

Stepping away from a manuscript away can be a huge relief.

Coming back to a manuscript always brings insight. Sometimes it offers pleasant surprises.

Spring is an optimistic time of year.

Don't hesitate when spring bulbs bloom. Grab that camera before the deer find them. (There will be no chionodoxa or "glory of the snow" pictures this year.) 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Before the Snack

These crocuses won't last long, but I snapped a few pics before somebody ate them. 
You know I can't resist a backlit petal. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Signs of Spring

Spring comes slowly to Michigan. 
An animal bit off the crocuses but didn't eat them.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Overheard #310

"It's a perfectly good interface between structure and chaos."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More Amaryllis

We had a bumper crop of amaryllis. 
The Stardust produced a second stalk and five more flowers. Here they are backlit for a stained glass effect. Note the stamens and carpels in the center of the blossom.
Now Dancing Queen has started to bloom. This flower is a double which means there are more petals. Double flowers are homeotic mutants in which stamens and/or carpels are replaced by petals.
fire in the sky

Friday, March 20, 2015

Overheard #309

“The hold-music seems unnecessarily mournful.”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Five Stages of Revision

1.  Wallowing. The writer has just re-read a first draft or received an in-depth critique. An overwhelming amount of work is required to turn this pile of words into coherence, let alone greatness. The mistake I often make during this stage is forgetting that the operative word in self-pity is self. No one cares how bad I think my manuscript is.

2.  Mud Wrestling. Ideas are slippery and hard to pin down. It’s easy to regress into wallowing. This is a time to experiment with new concepts and techniques. Anything that doesn’t work can go back into the murk. With determination, the writer can progress to …

3.  Running the Marathon. Points to remember:
  • You can’t see the finish from the starting line.
  • This is the land of The Tortoise and the Hare. It’s okay to change roles occasionally. It’s okay to take naps. Eventually the race must be finished.
  • There will be dead-ends and detours.
  • You may need to plot a new course.

4.  Rinse and Repeat. The marathon may need to be run again. And again. No one said this was easy.

5.  Spit and Polish. The novel has now has structure, real characters, six-pack abs and a killer ending. Where did all those needless words come from? Doesn’t that sentence need a coma? Find a place to read out loud.